Elon Musk warns governors about threat from artificial intelligence

Elon Musk warns governors about threat from artificial intelligence

Record-Journal


PROVIDENCE — Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned a bipartisan gathering of U.S. governors on Saturday that government regulation of artificial intelligence is needed because it’s a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”

But first, he asked for some governors to lift a different kind of regulation: state franchise dealership laws that ban the direct sale of his company’s electric cars to consumers.

Musk spoke broadly about solar energy, space travel, self-driving cars and other emerging technology during a question-and-answer session at the summer conference of the National Governors Association in Rhode Island.

He also met privately with some governors, including Louisiana Democrat John Bel Edwards, who recently signed a law that Musk’s company, based in Palo Alto, Calif., says blocks it from selling cars there.

Edwards said Tesla asked for the one-on-one meeting with Musk, which was short. “I just asked him to come down to Louisiana and sit down with us, sit down with the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association and work out some sort of a compromise, which they have successfully done in other states,” Edwards said.

Allowing manufacturer-to-consumer sales also came up in meetings between Musk and two other governors — the conference’s host, Gov. Gina Raimondo, and Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Representatives for the two Democrats confirmed they had private meetings with Musk and the topic came up.

Musk didn’t address such rules in his public remarks, but he did speak about regulation generally — and reiterated his long-held argument that it is needed soon to protect humanity from being outsmarted by computers.


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