Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to social media Monday morning, warning in a series of tweets that the race for artificial intelligence will "most likely cause" World War III.
The chilling prediction was issued in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's take on the importance of AI research.
“Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind,” Putin said, according to RT. “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.”
China, Russia, soon all countries w strong computer science. Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 imo.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 4, 2017
Currently, the United States, China and India are leading the way in AI, an industry expert told CNN.
Still, Musk and other leaders in the tech world have warned of the dangers AI could pose. Last month those industry leaders sent a letter, urging the United Nations to ban the development and use of "killer robots."
"Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare," the letter warned.
In addition, Musk said on Twitter that the development of fully autonomous weapons could mean war may not be initiated by country leaders, but by AI.
May be initiated not by the country leaders, but one of the AI's, if it decides that a prepemptive strike is most probable path to victory— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 4, 2017
Musk's repeated warnings about the issues associated with AI lead to a clash with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who called the rhetoric "pretty irresponsible." To that, Musk argued that Zuckerberg's understanding of the issue is "limited."