September 05, 2017

Putin and Musk are right: Whoever masters AI will run the world

By Gregory C. Allen

Last Friday, a million Russian schoolchildren watched a televised address from Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Artificial intelligence is the future, not only of Russia, but of all of mankind," Putin said. "Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world." After seeing Putin's comments, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that "competition for AI superiority at national level (is the) most likely cause of WW3."

Though never before stated so frankly by a head of state, Putin's views on AI are increasingly shared by national security leaders in the United StatesChina and around the world. As I wrote in a report published by the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, AI research is likely to deliver a revolution in military technology on par with the invention of aircraft and nuclear weapons. In other words, Musk is correct that each country is pursuing AI superiority and that this pursuit brings new risks.

Read the full op-ed in CNN.

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