Elon Musk on the AI ​​Disaster, Free Speech and Advertiser Censorship

Elon Musk, doubling down on free speech over advertiser demands for censorship, predicts the chance of AI-related disaster at “10 to 20%.”

Speaking at Cannes Lions on Wednesday morning, Musk said: “I agree with Geoff Hinton – one of the godfathers of AI – and he thinks there's a 10-20% chance of something terrible happening.”

Musk didn't specify what he meant by “terrible,” instead adding: “The glass is 80 percent full. Look on the bright side.”

He continued: “I think the most likely outcome is one of abundance, where goods and services are available to anyone. There is no shortage for any of us. It will be a universal increase. Work will be optional. ”

This could bring with it, he added, “a crisis of meaning.”

“If AI can do everything you can do but better, what's the point of doing things? I think there will be an existential crisis,” X's boss said.

Speaking about the “worst-case scenario” – potential human destruction by AI, Musk pondered: “Would I want to be around to see it? Probably yes.”

He reflected that we are “at the most exciting time in history” and then repeated it at the end to a packed auditorium, telling the room: “Enjoy the journey.”

Musk sat down with WPP CEO Mark Reid at Cannes Lions to discuss the transformative power of technological innovation, how AI is reshaping creativity, business and society, and the future of his social media platform. Included.

A double whammy on freedom of expression

After previous battles with advertisers over brand safety issues, it doubled down on its commitment to free speech on its X platform.

Musk seemed happy to go into the lion's den for advertisers, where he was asked about his comment on stage last November that “advertisers can go themselves.”

He said his comments were “not intended to target advertisers as a whole,” adding: “I think it's important to have a free speech platform where a wide range of people can express their views. And in some cases, there are advertisers who were insisting on censorship. If it's a choice between censorship and free speech and losing money, we're going to choose the other.

He added: “Advertisers have the right to appear next to content that is consistent with their brands, that's fine, but what's not good is insisting that someone on the platform There can't be content they don't agree with… For democracy and for X to be the public sphere of the world, it has to be a free speech platform – within the limits of the law. I think it's important that people Have the right to speak.

Asked if, as Xm's boss, he regrets any comments he's made on the platform in the past, Musk replied: “I shoot myself in the foot from time to time, but at least you Know that it's real, nothing. PR type. If you speak freely, there will be times when you sound silly, but if you're constantly going through a filter, you're not real. There are, so I think it's better to be real than through a filter.”

He made the point that he believes the platform is the best way to reach anyone worldwide, not just influencers but “intellectuals.”

“If you want to reach the most influential people in the world, not just social media influencers, but actually (those) who run companies, run countries and the intellectuals of the world, the people who write, X Plate The form is the best so far,” he said. “It's almost the only way to reach these people. They're not watching TV, they're not doing TikTok videos. X is smaller than other social media platforms, but they're the most influential people in the world, so If you want to reach them, this is the best place.

With the US presidential election around the corner, Musk said he would welcome any debate on the X platform. He didn't lean into political discussion, however, contenting himself with saying, “This is going to be interesting.”

Other speakers at the Cannes Lions include Chrissy Teigen and Queen Latifah.

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