Why it matters: While many companies are scrambling to infuse AI into every industry, Elon Musk is once again floating the idea that we need more government oversight of AI development. His comments come in response to a profile of OpenAI, a company that's ironically among the least open and transparent about its work.
During the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai last year, Elon Musk expressed both his enthusiasm with regards to the potential rewards of AI, as well as concerns about the risks of using it before we get a chance to understand it better.
Musk is also one of the co-founders of OpenAI, one of the leading companies in the field and on a quest to develop the world's first artificial general intelligence (AGI). The company claims it can deliver a machine with the reasoning capabilities of a human being, while keeping the whole process transparent and putting safety as a top priority.
It's not a secret that Elon Musk is one of the biggest critics of AI tech, but he's also worried that OpenAI won't be able to keep all of its promises. Soon after MIT Technology Review published a report on the culture of secrecy the company has adopted, Musk took aim at Dario Amodei - a former Google engineer that is now leading OpenAI's efforts - noting that he can't be trusted to prioritize safety.
The Tesla CEO noted that all companies doing advanced AI development should be regulated by governments and the UN, Tesla included. Musk officially left OpenAI in February 2019, which has since shifted its focus towards proprietary technology and playing with its public image to secure more funding from investors.
In 2019, OpenAI enlisted Microsoft as their "preferred partner," which is pouring $1 billion and a chunk of its vast Azure infrastructure into AGI development. The worrying aspect is that OpenAI has been transitioning from a non-profit to something that more closely resembles a profit-driven organization that's willing to license pre-AGI (sub-human level artificial intelligence) to third parties. This doesn't align well with their public image and officially-stated mission of "enacting the path to safe artificial intelligence."
In the meantime, Elon Musk has founded Neuralink to work on a different approach that would instead create symbiosis between man and machine, one step at a time.