Elon Musk Offers a Chilling Prediction on AI's Smarts

He thinks artificial intelligence will be smarter than humans as early as next year
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2024 10:20 AM CDT
Updated Apr 14, 2024 7:15 AM CDT
Musk: AI May Be Smarter Than Humans by 2025
Elon Musk addresses the European Jewish Association's conference on Jan. 22 in Krakow, Poland.   (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

Elon Musk has long expressed his fears over artificial intelligence, and his latest assessment isn't likely to tamp down those of a like mind. In a Monday interview livestreamed on his X social media platform, the Tesla CEO and co-founder of ChatGPT developer OpenAI predicted that as early as 2025, AI could have more brain power than actual people, reports Reuters. "My guess is that we'll have AI that is smarter than any one human probably around the end of next year," Musk told Nicolai Tangen, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, per the Financial Times.

Extrapolating from that, Musk forecast that AI will subsequently become smarter than the combined efforts of all human beings within the next five years. He added that he believes that timeline will hold, as long as there's an ample supply of electricity and hardware available to fuel the required technology. The Guardian calls this a "sharp tightening" of Musk's earlier predictions, in which he guessed that "full" AGI (artificial general intelligence) would be achieved by 2029, though the Times notes that Musk has been off on his dates in the past, specifically regarding self-driving vehicle rollouts and the landing of a rocket on Mars—he originally offered a 2018 date for the latter.

Musk has developed his own artificial intelligence startup, called xAI, with its own chatbot named Grok, and last year he justified the disconnect between his AI fears and his new company. "If I could press pause on AI or really advanced AI digital superintelligence I would," he said at the time of xAI's launch, per the Guardian. "It doesn't seem like that is realistic, so xAI is essentially going to build an AI. In a good way, sort of hopefully." He added: "It's actually important for us to worry about a Terminator future in order to avoid a Terminator future." (More Elon Musk stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.