Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla, SpaceX CEO and OpenAI, recently revealed that he bought shares in DeepMind to make sure he could stay informed with AI’s progress.

Elon Musk isn’t the world’s biggest fan of AI. He’s not so much a skeptic, more of a cautionary voice when it comes to what these big companies are doing with the new technology behind closed doors. He did help to star OpenAI, which as the name suggests, is a completely who work on AI in the open. Unlike a lot of companies who are also working on the technology, they share all of their work with the general public.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Musk, who’s one of the world’s richest men, voiced his concerns about AI, and revealed that he purchased shares in the mysterious London-based AI research lab before it was purchased by Google just to ensure that he would be able to know what was going on behind it’s closed doors.

The entrepreneur saw early on the impact AI would have on our society, but not even he expected the rate at which its progressed in recent years. His stake in DeepMind provided him with the ammunition needed to go out and warn people about the potential dangers of AI.

“It gave me more visibility into the rate at which things were improving, and I think they’re really improving at an accelerating rate, far faster than people realize. Mostly because in everyday life you don’t see robots walking around. Maybe your Roomba or something. But Roombas aren’t going to take over the world,” he divulged.

Musk reiterated his thoughts on how scientists can sometimes get a bit carried away with their work and not realise the possible ramification of what they are creating. “Sometimes what will happen is a scientist will get so engrossed in their work that they don’t really realize the ramifications of what they’re doing,” he commented.

In the feature, Musk spoke of one of the reasons why he’s so focused on successfully landing a person on Mars, and it has to do with his fears of AI. He believes that we should colonise the red planet in the event of AI possibly going rogue. These fears are believed to be a bit extreme by many people working in Silicon Valley, however, if all does go wrong, Musk will be safe on Mars.

Image courtesy of OnInnovation