Monday, June 23, 2014

Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence responds to Musk’s concern about AI

Eric Horvitz, Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft Research, past president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a member of the AAAI strategic planning board, and a spokesperson for the group, which is based in Palo Alto, California, today responded to an Etopia News inquiry about Elon Musk’s recently-expressed concerns about artificial intelligence.

            Musk, a serial entrepreneur known for his work with PayPal, SolarCity, SpaceX, and Tesla, commented on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on June 17th that he was investing in AI firm Vicarious so he could keep an eye on the field, saying “there is potentially a dangerous outcome there."

            He compared the coming of AI to the arrival of the Spanish Inquisition, which nobody expects.

            You can watch his comments, here:

            Etopia News sent this link to the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, seeking comment.

            Here’s what AAAI spokesperson and past president Eric Horvitz said in reply:

            “I’m optimistic that AI advances will enhance the quality of our lives in numerous ways. However, we need to continue to study trends and developments in AI with care, and to reflect about potential surprises and downsides--as AI scientists and as broader society.  This includes investing in research on studies of what might go wrong and with developing proactive measures that can help guarantee good outcomes.”

            He also provided a link to materials about the 2009 “Asilomar meeting on Long-Term AI Futures,” at:

            A good, rather than a bad, outcome was what Musk also said he was interested in, before responding to one of the hosts’ quip that it would be possible to escape to the Mars colony Musk seeks to build should the AI run amok on Earth.  “The A.I. will chase us there pretty quickly," Musk said, voicing the concern that not even a multi-planet humanity would be immune to #runawayAI.