TIME AI

Elon Musk: Don’t Bother Running to Mars Because the Robots Will Get Us There, Too

Elon Musk & SpaceX
Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), speaks before the unveiling of the Manned Dragon V2 Space Taxi in Hawthorne, California, U.S., on Thursday, May 29, 2014. Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg via Getty Images

The head of Tesla Motors and SpaceX is concerned about artificial intelligence turning into Skynet.

Elon Musk is best known for his work on electric cars and rocket ships, but he’s also invested in a couple of artificial intelligence startups. It’s not for the money, he says, but because “I like to just keep an eye on what’s going on with artificial intelligence.”

Speaking to Kelly Evans and Julia Boorstin on CNBC Tuesday, Musk discussed why he’s an investor in Vicarious, and why he invested in DeepMind (before it was acquired by Google), both AI companies.

Musk said there is “potentially a dangerous outcome” for the technology, and that “there have been movies about this, you know, like Terminator.”

Unfortunately, Musk was short on ideas for how we might stop intelligent computers from turning against us. Here’s the best–or, most terrifying–part of the exchange:

JB: But what should A.I. be used for? What’s its best value?

MUSK: I don’t know. But there are some scary outcomes. And we should try to make sure the outcomes are good, not bad. Yeah.

KE: Or escape to Mars if there’s no other option.

MUSK: The A.I. will chase us there pretty quickly.

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