Elon Musk’s bone-chilling Tucker interview; his vow to create a rival AI called ‘TruthGPT’

Fox News host Tucker Carlson premiered the first part of his interview with Elon Musk on  Monday that included his vow to launch an A.I. competitor to Microsoft and Google, one not trained to lie.

“We don’t want this to be sort of a profit-maximizing demon from hell, you know.”

(Video: Fox News)

The sit down for “Tucker Carlson Tonight” opened with a discussion on the dangers of artificial intelligence, especially considering the tendencies of Microsoft’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard to have programmed bias.

“I don’t think the average person playing with A.I. on his iPhone perceives any danger. Can you just roughly explain what you think the dangers might be?” Carlson asked.

“Yes, so the danger — really A.I. is perhaps more dangerous than, say, mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance or bad car production in the sense that it has the potential, however small one may regard that probability, but it is non-trivial — it has the potential of civilization destruction,” the tech entrepreneur warned.

“You know, there’s movies like ‘Terminator’ but it wouldn’t quite happen like ‘Terminator’ because the intelligence would be in the data centers,” he continued. “The robot is just the end effector. But I think perhaps what you may be alluding to here is that regulations are really only put into effect after something terrible has happened.”

“That’s correct,” the host agreed before his guest added, “If that’s the case for A.I. and we’re only putting regulation after something terrible has happened, it may be too late to actually put the regulations in place. The A.I. may be in control at that point.”

Speaking to efforts of Big Tech leaders like Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Musk cautioned, “He really seemed to be — wanted sort of digital superintelligence. Basically digital God, if you will, as soon as possible.”

His own pushback against that led him to be labeled a speciesist for his concern, and Musk didn’t disagree. “Yeah, I’m fully a speciesist. Busted. So that was his last straw. At the time, Google had acquired DeepMind. And so Google and DeepMind together had about three quarters of all the A.I. talent in the world. They obviously had a tremendous amount of money and more computers than anyone else.”

“So I’m like, okay, we have a unipolar world where there’s just one company that has close to monopoly on A.I. talent and computers, like scale of computing. And the person who’s in charge doesn’t seem to care about safety, this is not good,” the billionaire said as he described his thought process in cofounding OpenAI. “So then I thought, what’s the furthest thing from Google would be like a nonprofit that is fully open? Because Google was closed for profit. So that’s why the OpenAI refers to open source, you know, transparency. So people know what’s going on.

“We don’t want this to be sort of a profit-maximizing demon from hell, you know,” he explained.

On dangers of A.I., which Musk had previously called for a halt in development, and specifically on concerns of lying, Carlson had asked, “How did it get this way? I thought you funded it at the beginning. What happened?”

(Video: Fox News)

“Yeah, well, that’ll be ironic. But faith, the most ironic outcome is the most likely it seems,” Musk replied, earning a hearty bout of laughter from the host. “I’m stealing that. That’s good.”

“That’s actually from a friend of mine, Jonah, who came up with that one. I actually have a slight variant on that, which is the most entertaining outcome is the most likely,” he noted, “but that’s entertaining as viewed from a third party viewer.”

To compete with ChatGPT and Bard, Musk outlined, “I’m going to start something which you call TruthGPT or a maximum truth-seeking A.I. that tries to understand the nature of the universe. And I think this might be the best path to safety in the sense that an AI that cares about understanding the universe is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe.”

“Hopefully they would think that. I think — you know because, yeah, like humanity could decide to hunt down all the chimpanzees and kill them. But we don’t because we’re actually glad that they exist,” he offered. “And we aspire to protect their habitats.”

As to whether or not the A.I. could appreciate beauty or sentiment, Musk suggested, “Well, I mean, we’re getting into some, you know, philosophical areas that are hard to resolve. You know, I take somewhat of a scientific view of things, which is that we might have a soul or we might not have a soul. I don’t know. It feels like we have — I feel like I’ve got some sort of consciousness that exists on a plane that is not the one we observe.”

Questioned on the financial prudence of his Twitter acquisition, he divulged, “My timing is amazing since I bought it for at least twice as much as it should have been bought for. But some things are priceless. And so whether I lose money or not, that is a secondary issue compared to ensuring the strength of democracy and free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy.”

Later, he went on to elaborate on his work to protect conversations on the social media platform that, as previously reported, federal government agencies had allegedly had access to. The company is, “moving to have the DMs be optionally encrypted. I mean, you know, there’s like a lot of DM conversations which are, you know, just chatting with friends.”

(Video: Fox News)

“But so we were — that’s hopefully coming out later this month, but no later than next month, is the ability to toggle encryption on or off. So if you are in a conversation you think is sensitive, you can just toggle encryption on, and then no one at Twitter can see what you’re talking about. They could put a gun to my head, and I couldn’t tell it. I couldn’t — that’s absolute gun to the head test,” he described. “If somebody puts a gun to my head, can I still not see your DMs? That should be — that’s the acid test.”

Were he to receive any direct complaint from the government, a point he noted was unlikely because of concern he’d simply tweet it publicly, Musk contended, “If I got something that was unconstitutional from the U.S. government, I would say — my reply would be to send them a copy of the First Amendment and just say, like, what part of this are we getting wrong?”

He also touched on the upcoming 2024 presidential election after affirming his belief that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had influenced the outcome of the 2020 election with hundreds of millions spent with a bias toward Democratic candidates.

Though he did not name a specific person, he said, “I would prefer, frankly that we put someone, just a normal person as president. A normal person with common sense and whose values are smack in the middle of the country, you know, just center of the normal distribution. And I think that they would be great. I think we have made maybe being president not that much fun, you know, to be totally frank.”

Kevin Haggerty


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