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What's the biggest risk the human race faces?

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During a question and answer session before the National Governors Association in early August, high-tech billionaire Elon Musk was asked what he thought was the biggest risk civilization faces. The man who started companies like Tesla and SpaceX told the assembled governors that “artificial intelligence” is the biggest risk faced by the human race.

He warned that some industries will soon become completely autonomous, not only threatening jobs, but potentially the nation's safety.

Also this month, Musk signed an open letter to the United Nations along with 115 other leaders in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence that warned about the potential rise of killer robots that have been made famous in popular culture by movies like the “Terminator” and “Transformers” series. The letter to the U.N. states, "Once developed, lethal autonomous weapons will permit armed conflict to be fought on a scale greater than ever and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend."

During his session with state leaders, Musk told them that they should address the issue of artificial intelligence proactively, learning about it before it's too late so they can come up with the right set of rules and regulations to govern artificial intelligence.

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