Seated on a stage in front of a dark blue curtain, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Elon Musk open their conversation at the Tesla factory in Fremont with a discussion of the risks of AI.
Musks calls AI “potentially the greatest civilizational threat.” He expresses doubt who would be in charge — “the computers or the humans.”
“We just want to make sure that we’re guiding things toward a positive future and not a negative one,” says Musk.
Netanyahu takes the conversation to the Bible, saying humanity will have to choose between a blessing and a curse, like the biblical Israelites were told to do by Moses. So too with AI, he says. Netanyahu talks about the potential for the end of scarcity because of AI, but also the potential for the end of democracy, AI-driven wars and crime syndicates.
“We want to increase the blessings not only for ourselves, but for all of humanity,” says Netanyahu of Israel’s AI vision.
Netanyahu then refers to a theoretical scenario in which Musk would be US president.
“You can’t be president of the US, but assume you are,” says Netanyahu.
“Well, not officially,” responds the South African-born Musk to laughs.
The tech CEO says that a leading concern is what China will do with AI, and what AI will do with China. “That digital superintelligence could be in charge China, not the CCP,” says Musk.
Netanyahu asks what kind of international oversights and agreements are possible around AI. He says nuclear weapons deterrence is a model that could work to keep anti-democratic states from violating the rules. “Instead of Mutually Assured Destruction, we’d have Mutually Assured Chaos.”
He also expresses concerns about rogue individual and non-state actors. “What do we do about the bad actors?” Netanyahu muses. “Could we police the planet against the rogue actors?”