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After Putin's AI Comments, Elon Musk Imagines World War III

Elon Musk OnInnovation / Flickr

Responding to President Vladimir Putin's recent comments on artificial intelligence, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Monday that World War III would likely be triggered by competition for AI.

The business magnate’s prediction came in response to Putin’s comments at a meeting with schoolchildren in Yaroslavl on Sept. 1, in which the president said that artificial intelligence is the future of all of mankind. 

“China, Russia, soon all countries with strong computer science. Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 imo,” Elon Musk wrote in a Twitter comment after sharing an article carrying Putin’s comments. 

“[World War III] May be initiated not by the country leaders, but one of the AI’s, if it decides that a preemptive strike is most probable path to victory,” Musk added in a subsequent post. 

"There are colossal opportunities, but also dangers that are difficult to predict today,“Putin said of AI. “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”

Putin said it was important to prevent monopolies in the field, adding that if Russia became the global leader in artificial intelligence, “it will share its technology with the rest of the world, like we are doing now with atomic and nuclear technology.”

The president also predicted that wars will be fought by drones in the near future, saying “when one party’s drones are destroyed by drones of another, it will have no other choice but to surrender.”

“In order not to wait in the back of the line, we have to begin working on this today,” concluded the president.

In July, major Russian weapons manufacturer Tactical Missiles Corporation announced its plans to develop AI missiles.

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