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Inside Elon Musk's Struggle for the Future of AI

At a conference in 2012, Elon Musk met Demis Hassabis, the video-game designer and artificial--intelligence researcher who had co-founded a company named DeepMind that sought to design computers that could learn how to think like humans.

"Elon and I hit it off right away, and I went to visit him at his rocket factory," Hassabis said.

While sitting in the canteen overlooking the assembly lines, Musk explained that his reason for building rockets that could go to Mars was that it might be a way to preserve human consciousness in the event of a world war, asteroid strike, or civilization collapse. Hassabis told him to add another potential threat to the list: artificial intelligence. Machines could become superintelligent and surpass us mere mortals -perhaps even decide to dispose of us.

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