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Vladimir Putin, Elon Musk agree AI could start World War III

Odd couple Musk and Putin share the same view on AI.

By Ellie Burns

An unlikely pair, Elon Musk and Vladimir Putin, have warned of the end of days – brought about chiefly by artificial intelligence.

It is not the first time that Elon Musk has waded into the man vs machine debate, having previously been among a 100-strong throng urging the UN to do something about killer robots. Continuing along this line of thinking, the SpaceX, Tesla and Boring company boss took to Twitter in the early hours to warn about AI being the ‘most likely cause of WW3.’

Vladamir Putin, Elon Musk agree AI could start World War III

Musk’s AI fears followed similar comments from Vladimir Putin, who said in a statement that “artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind … It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”

Speaking to students on Friday, the Russian President warned that “it would be strongly undesirable if someone wins a monopolist position”, promising Russia’s support in sharing AI knowledge with other nations. The Russian leader also touched on drones, predicting that the tech could fight future wars, saying: “When one party’s drones are destroyed by drones of another, it will have no other choice but to surrender.”

Responding to Putin’s thought-provoking, but worrying, statement, Musk elaborated on his initial tweet by saying that World War Three “may be initiated not by the country leaders, but one of AI’s, if it decides that a preemptive strike is the most probable path to victory.”

Seemingly descending into more dark thoughts, Musk went on to predict how government’s will gain AI technology to fight said wars, tweeting: “Govts don’t need to follow normal laws. They will obtain AI developed by companies at gunpoint, if necessary.”

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Vladamir Putin, Elon Musk agree AI could start World War III

This latest vocal outburst by Musk will join the ever-growing rhetoric of the rise of the machines, with the future power of AI kick-starting debate – from loss of jobs to automation, to killer robots.

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