Israel's Netanyahu Tells Elon Musk To 'Assume' He's US President

Zinger Key Points
  • Musk and Netanyahu discuss AI's potential blessings and curses, urging global AI regulations to mitigate risks.
  • Netanyahu envisions a three-tier framework for AI adoption.

As leaders in the artificial intelligence sector continue to make global appearances to world governments on AI regulation and safe adoption, Elon Musk on Monday found himself in a one-on-one session with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Musk and Netanyahu discussed the geopolitical implications of AI and its regulation. The conversation, which initially started between the two figures, was later opened up to include OpenAI President Greg Brockman and machine learning researcher Max Tegmark.

Netanyahu's Dual Vision Of AI: The Prime Minister opened the conversation by admiring the potential “blessings” of AI. With references to precision medicine, robot caregivers for the elderly and advanced agriculture, he painted a future of unparalleled prosperity.

Yet, he aligned the promising vision with the "curse" of AI — disruptions to democracy, criminal syndicates, uncontrollable AI-driven wars and the unnerving possibility of machines dominating humans.

He underscored concerns about the rapid pace of the AI revolution, its potential threats and asked Musk to assume the role of U.S. president to come up with a plan to reap the “blessings” from AI while deterring any “curses.”

Musk's Presidential Response: Responding to Netanyahu's hypothetical proposition of assuming the role of U.S. president, Musk spoke about his efforts to inform world leaders about the dangers and opportunities of AI.

Musk’s opinion — and it has been for some time — was that while AI offers numerous benefits, its potential misuse is equally, if not more, concerning. The tech mogul pointed out the international challenge of AI regulation, citing the frequent rebuttal that he receives from Western nations.

Western nations may regulate AI, Musk said he hears from U.S. politicians, but their concerns lie in nations such as China, who might not regulate the tech, thereby creating a global imbalance.

The Tesla Inc TSLA and SpaceX CEO said he traveled to China, warning high-ranking officials that creating a digital superintelligence may mean handing the power of the Communist Party of China (CCP) over to an algorithm — something the CCP wouldn’t prefer, says Musk.

Read also: Musk Accepts Erdogan's Invitation To Teknofest Amid Talks Of Turkish Tesla Factory

Netanyahu's AI Proposal: Netanyahu has a three-tiered framework for AI.

Like-minded States Cooperation: Drawing parallels to international aviation and other sectors, Netanyahu proposed that nations with shared values and perspectives should initially establish a code of ethics and conduct.

Major Powers' Collaboration: Reflecting on the nuclear era, Netanyahu pointed out that mutual deterrence — stemming from the doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD) — has been instrumental in preventing a nuclear conflict.

In the AI context, the absence of international codes could lead to "mutually assured chaos (MAC)," a scenario where unintended consequences snowball, leading to global disruption.

Dealing With Rogue Actors: The Israeli leader expressed his most significant concern about "bad actors," which include rogue states and criminal syndicates, potentially harnessing AI for malevolent purposes.

Musk offered a counterpoint to the idea that AI could easily be co-opted by rogue entities, saying that true digital superintelligence would be centralized in large, detectable data centers.

The AI leader said that these centers would be identifiable even from space, suggesting that rogue actors can't easily harness this level of AI without being noticed.

Read Next: Arm Holdings' Rollercoaster Ride Begins With Bernstein's Underperform Call

Photo: Netanyahu, Shutterstock; Musk, public domain

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Posted In: GovernmentLarge CapNewsRegulationsTopicsGlobalTechGeneralAIartificial intelligenceBenjamin NetanyahuChatGPTElon MuskGenerative AIGreg BrockmanisraelMax TegmarkOpenAiSpaceX
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