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Elon Musk worries about one AI company – whoever could it be?

Elon Musk has revealed that he’s only really worried about one particular AI company. And while he’s not naming names, it’s pretty clear who he means.

Given that he’s one of the world’s most prominent futurists, Elon Musk has a rather disconcerting fear of artificial intelligence. In the past he’s likened building AI to “summoning the demon,” and has joined forces with Stephen Hawking and Steve Wozniak (among others) to warn against a future Skynet scenario.

But when asked about his specific AI fears at the Code Conference recently, Musk said that only one company currently working in the field actually worried him.

“I won’t name names,” said Musk, “but there’s only one.”

When pressed as to whether that company also happened to be a threat to Tesla with its recent high profile car efforts, Musk gave a smile and looked at the floor, before repeating “There’s only one.”

It seems likely that Musk is worried about Google’s efforts in artificial intelligence.

Related: Elon Musk’s 5 craziest tech ideas

Musk dismissed the idea that his opposition to Google (or whoever he was talking about) was based on a competitive spirit, however. “It’s not about competing, it’s really just about trying to increase the probability that the future will be good.”

To that end, Musk has set up a non-profit organisation called Open AI, which is designed to “democratise AI power.” His big concern is that AI mastery could be concentrated in the hands of the few, creating the increased possibility of an ‘AI despot’ situation.


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