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Musk: Governments Need To Have Plan To Cut Power To ‘Heavy Duty’ AI Servers In Case Humans Lose Control

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Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc., smiles during the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in San Jose, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Musk said that well take autonomous cars for granted in a short period of time and signaled that the automaker plans to be a leader in the nascent market.
David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Twitter CEO Elon Musk said during an interview Tuesday night that the government needs to have a plan to physically shut down the power grid in areas that house “heavy duty” artificial intelligence servers in case mankind ever lost control of the AI.

Musk told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that “really heavy duty intelligence” would be concentrated in only a limited number of areas on earth and that it’ll be so concentrated that they can be located from space using their heat signature.

“I’m not suggesting we go and blow up the service centers right now, but there may be some — it may be wise to have some sort of contingency plan where the government’s got an ability to shut down power to these service centers,” he said. “Like you don’t have to blow it up. You can just cut the power.”

When asked at what point it might be time to cut the power, Musk said if humans “lost control of some super AI, like for some reason, like the things that would normally work to do a passive shutdown, like the administrator passwords, if they somehow stop working where we can’t slow down or get out.”

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TRANSCRIPT:

TUCKER CARLSON: You’ve heard people say we should just blow up the server farms because there’s no way that once this gets rolling, there’s no way to slow it down. What do you think of that?

ELON MUSK: Well, the really heavy duty intelligence is not going to be distributed all over the place. It’ll be in a limited number of service centers. If you say like very — like very sort of deep A.I., heavy duty A.I.

It’s not going to be in your laptop or your phone. It’s going to be in a situation where there’s like 100,000 really powerful computers working together in a service center. So it’s not like subtle and there are — there are limited number of places where that can happen.

In fact, you could — if you can just — you can just look at the heat signature from space.

CARLSON: Yeah.

MUSK: And it’s — it’ll be very obvious. Now, I’m not suggesting we go and blow up the service centers right now, but there may be some — it may be wise to have some sort of contingency plan where the government’s got an ability to shut down power to these service centers. Like you don’t have to blow it up. You can just cut the power.

CARLSON: And what would trip —

MUSK: And we’ll cut connectivity as well. That’s another way.

CARLSON: Right. But what would trip that switch, do you think, in your mind, what would be the threshold that you’d have to pass to warrant the government cutting off your power or cutting off your signal?

MUSK: Well, I mean, I guess if we lost control of some super A.I., like for some reason, like the things that would normally work to do a passive shutdown, like the administrator passwords, if they somehow stop working where we can’t slow down or get out.

I’m not sure. I don’t have a precise answer, but if there’s something that we’re concerned about and are unable to stop it with software commands, then we probably want to have some kind of hardware off switch.

CARLSON: Yes.

MUSK: I think you know, can’t hurt.

Related: Elon Musk Warns Of Grave Danger That AI Could Pose To Humanity

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