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Elon Musk Just Explained Why We Should Be More Afraid of AI Than Nuclear Weapons

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If there's anyone we should listen to when it comes to predictions about technology's future, it's probably Elon Musk, the creator of PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX. Although our dicey relationship with North Korea often snags headlines because of the rogue nation's nuclear capabilities, Musk worries about something else much more than nuclear war. At HBO's Westworld panel at South by Southwest, the tech icon made an appearance and warned the crowd about the imminent danger posed by artificial intelligence (AI).


Musk commented on AI and what he's seen firsthand:

I'm close to AI and it scares the hell out of me. It's capable of vastly more than anyone knows, and the improvement is exponential.

He's not lying when he says he's "close" to the technology. Musk is a chairman and co-founder of the company OpenAI.

OpenAI's intelligences learn and evolve over time, just like humans do. In fact, after letting the AI play the popular video game DOTA 2 by itself for about a week, it was able to take on one of the best players in the world...and win. Of course, the win came with some pretty big caveats (both players had to use a certain character, the match had to be 1 on 1, and the human player never got the opportunity to study the AI's playing style) but it was still an impressive feat for a program which taught itself how to play.

Musk also mentioned AlphaGo, the AI developed by Google Deepmind to play the ancient Chinese board game "Go."

The program has not only beat every other artificial "Go" player, but also took on both European champion Fan Hui and world champion Lee Sedol. AlphaGo won four out of five games, embarrassing China so much that they censored the live broadcast of the competition after Go defeated Sedol in the first match.

The documentary 'AlphaGo' on Netflix tells the AI's story, and VICE covered the basics in this video:

Musk commented on AlphaGo to the crowd at SXSW:

Those experts who think AI is not progressing: look at things like GO. Their batting average is quite weak.

The danger of AI is much greater than the danger of nuclear warheads — by a lot. Mark my words, AI is far more dangerous than nukes.

Musk isn't the only genius who's creeped out by robots. Stephon Hawking has made similar statements about AI in the past:

Unless we learn how to prepare for, and avoid, the potential risks, AI could be the worst event in the history of our civilization. It brings dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many. It could bring great disruption to our economy.

Musk is calling for additional oversight of AI technology while simultaneously pushing the technology forward and utilizing it.

Artificial Intelligences, while terrifying to the CEO, also play a large role at SpaceX, where rockets land autonomously on drone ships while the nearest human is miles away. In Musk's mind, advancing AI is worth the risk to help us reach the next era in human evolution.

Jinxy Productions via Getty images@PassionPopSoc/Twitter

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The wizarding world is now a reality.

Sort of.

A Canadian company has created a real life invisibility cloak, and it's mind-blowing to see in action.

The company, HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp., calls its creation "Quantum Stealth."

See it in action here:

'Invisibility cloak' that could hide tanks and troops looks closer to reality www.youtube.com

Describing themselves on their website as "Leaders in Camouflage, Concealment, and Deception", HyperStealth has patents pending on their magical invention.

The "invisibility shield" is made of an inexpensive, paper thin material that bends light to make objects appear to be invisible. The company boasts that it would be able to hide people, vehicles, and even buildings.

Humans hidden by Quantum Stealth would also be undetectable to heat-sensing cameras.

Meet the Canadian who created a real-life invisibility shield youtu.be

Guy Cramer, the CEO of HyperStealth and the shield's inventor explained to CTV News:

"This is the same material that you see in 3D books and DVD covers and movie posters where by moving side to side you get a 3D image. We're using the same material and we've removed the picture from behind it to get that effect."

The material was never meant to for public use, but Cramer hopes that his invention will be helpful to Canada's military allies, including the United States.

Since releasing video demonstrations of the "invisibility cloak", military personnel have become interested in learning more about it.

Reception to the prototype, initially demonstrated to militaries in 2011, was lukewarm. But HyperStealth's recent promotional materials have since caught the attention of higher ups.

Cramer has expressed surprise about the public's interest in "Quantum Stealth" on Twitter.

Cramer admitted to CTV that he has reservations about how the material can be used:

"The intention was to keep it out of the public and to allow the military to use it sparingly or bury it. My concern is the criminal element using this at some point in the future and non-allied countries using it against our soldiers out there."

Fans of the Harry Potter series are comparing "Quantum Stealth" to Harry's Invisibility Cloak.





Featured in both the book and movies, Harry's Invisibility Cloak is a made from a magical fabric that he and his friends wear to appear invisible, usually to hide from Hogwarts' staff.

Giphy

Twitter is in awe of the invention's unbelievable capabilities.





Though some people share Cramer's worries about it falling into the wrong hands and its use in warfare.





Despite the public's excitement and concerns, Cramer doubts that it will ever be available for civilian use.

When addressing "Quantum Stealth's availability to the general public, he wrote on the HyperStealth website:

"Not in the near future unless the Military decided to release the technology and I don't anticipate that will happen anytime soon."

If you're not up on your Potterdom lore (or just need a new set after reading your first ones to tatters) the Harry Potter Books 1-7 Special Edition Boxed Set is available here.

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