Imagine your least-favorite world leader. (Take as much time as you need.) Now, imagine if that person wasn’t a human, but a network of millions of computers around the world.

This digi-dictator has instant access to every scrap of recorded information about every person who’s ever lived. It can make millions of calculations in a fraction of a second, controls the world’s economy and weapons systems with godlike autonomy and — scariest of all — can never, ever die.

This unkillable digital dictator, according to Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, is one of the darker scenarios awaiting humankind’s future if artificial-intelligence research continues without serious regulation. [Super-Intelligent Machines: 7 Robotic Futures] Humans have tried to take over the world before.

However, an authoritarian AI would have one terrible advantage over like-minded humans, Musk said. “At least when there’s an evil dictator, that human is going to die,” Musk added.

“But for an AI there would be no death. It would live forever, and then you’d have an immortal dictator, from which we could never escape.” Read more from space.com…

thumbnail courtesy of space.com