Be it climate change or rogue artificial intelligence, Elon Musk often turns to Twitter to share his concerns regarding the future of life on Earth.
And this time, the tech boss has offered a grave perspective on the fate of humanity.
Responding to a recent article which argues the world may soon hit ‘peak person’ as fertility rates drop, Musk warned the global population is ‘accelerating towards collapse, but few seem to notice or care.’
The November 2016 article re-shared today by New Scientist argues that the population bomb could go off in ‘the most unexpected way’ in the coming decades.
While the world’s populations continue to rise to staggering rates, with an upward trend that’s expected to continue through the end of the century, some predict numbers could soon take a dramatic turn in the other direction, according to New Scientist.
Now, fertility rates have dropped in many areas of the world, including Japan, Germany, Italy, and other European and Far East nations.
And, the experts say we’ve now hit ‘peak child’ – meaning peak human could soon follow.
In response to the article, Musk warned, ‘The world’s population is accelerating towards collapse, but few seem to notice or care.’
The article argues this type of ‘demographic implosion,’ could have all sorts of negative effects, from dramatic cultural changes to a decline in innovation.
Last month, the Tesla & SpaceX CEO shared some new insight on the growth of AI, warning that technology could outperform humans decades sooner than recent studies have estimated.
Referencing a study that circulated in May, which claimed AI will become better than humans at all tasks by the year 2060, Musk explained that this shift could be more imminent than scientists think, as AI capabilities grow at an accelerating pace.
‘Probably closer to 2030 to 2040 imo [in my opinion],’ Musk tweeted.
‘2060 would be a linear extrapolation, but progress is exponential.’
Over the years, Elon Musk has been outspoken with his opinions on the development of AI.
Despite his own role in the advancement of the technology, Musk has long warned that the machines built by humans could one day lead to our destruction.
The tech giant recently revealed he’s kept a ‘wary eye’ on the growth of AI for years as an investor in DeepMind, which was acquired by Google in 2014.
While humans may be able to stop a runaway algorithm, there would be ‘no stopping’ a large, centralized AI that calls the shots, Musk argued in a recent interview with Vanity Fair.
Investing in the AI research firm DeepMind was a way to stay on top of the expansion of artificial intelligence, the Tesla, SpaceX, and OpenAI boss explained to Vanity Fair.
‘Mostly because in everyday life you don’t see robots walking around. Maybe your Roomba or something. But Roombas aren’t going to take over the world.’
Musk has long been a proponent for preparedness in the face of a potential AI doomsday.
In the past, he’s argued that humans and machines could merge to become an AI-human symbiote, effectively stamping out the possibility of an ‘evil dictator AI.’
The threat, he explains in the new interview, is not so much the possibility of ‘killer robots,’ but a more powerful, centralized artificial intelligence.
‘The thing about AI is that it’s not the robot; it’s the computer algorithm in the Net,’ Musk said.
‘So the robot would just be an end effector, just a series of sensors and actuators. AI is in the Net.
‘The important thing is that if we do get some sort of runaway algorithm, then the human AI collective can stop the runaway algorithm.
‘But if there’s large, centralized AI that decides, then there’s no stopping it.’
And, while many have discussed the possible creation of a ‘kill switch’ to prevent such disasters, Musk noted, ‘I’m not sure I’d want to be the one holding the kill switch for some superpowered AI, because you’d be the first thing it kills.’