As technology continues to explode exponentially, science fiction is rapidly becoming science fact. Wednesday on radio, Glenn highlighted several stories involving some of the greatest minds alive. Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates are all warning about the dangers of AI and are trying to figure out ways to ensure the survival of the human race.
Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: I want to share something with you that is going to sound absolutely crazy, much more crazy than when I said, “We’re going to be able to print everything. We’re going to be able to print organs. We’re going to be able to print guns.” Remember when I brought the 3D printer on about four years ago, and we were printing little stupid things.
And I remember — I don’t remember who it was, one of the cameramen, it was Justin, right? One of the cameramen was on, and he just shook his head. And I printed a little Batman head for him. And he was like, this is ridiculous. We’re not going to be able to print these things. Okay. Sci-fi, and we’re going to get flying cars too.
And a year later, we had a guy on the show who gave us a printed — 3D printed gun that works.
The world is changing. And what this is going to sound like is, you’re either a Luddite and you don’t want technology — which is not true. I don’t think there’s any way to stop this. I think Elon Musk is right on his approach. Or it just sounds so like a movie, like terminator, that you’re fighting robots.
And I want you to know that you shouldn’t fear the robots. That’s not what I’m saying. I want you to hear a story that is on Elon Musk and his billion dollar crusade to stop the AI apocalypse. That’s the headline.
It starts with a story that I gave you yesterday in hour number one of this broadcast. And it’s Elon Musk. And it’s Demis — Demis, what’s his name? Hassabis. And Demis and Elon are having lunch at SpaceX. And Elon says, “I’m working on — this is the most important project for all of humanity, right now.” His trip to Mars. Pat doesn’t even think that trip to Mars is going to happen.
GLENN: It will. I’m telling you now, we will colonize Mars. And it won’t be done by a government. It will be done by Elon Musk. And here’s why: Demis says, “No, you’re not working on the most important project. I am.” Now, he’s in charge of DeepMind. DeepMind is the Google project that is gobbling up every — everybody who is working on AI. Artificial, super intelligence. And they are racing — Google and DeepMind are racing to artificial intelligence.
Now, artificial intelligence is going to be fantastic. We will — through artificial intelligence, we’re going to be able to figure out cures to cancer. It’s so far beyond any supercomputer. It will be able to learn itself. You won’t have to program. You won’t have to build. It will build itself. It will teach itself.
It’s true artificial intelligence. It is living intelligence. And it will be so far — we will look like mice to this intelligence.
He said — Demis said, “Well, no, no, I’m working on the most important project for humankind. I’m working on artificial super intelligence.” And that’s when Elon Musk said, “No, the reason why I’m going to Mars is to make sure there’s a human outpost because you’re going to get us all killed.”
Now, as crazy as that sounds, these conversations are happening. And they’re happening a lot in Silicon Valley, with some of the smartest people out there. People who agree with Elon Musk, that this could be the end of all humanity, within the next 40 years, are Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking and a long list of others. But those are pretty prominent guys.
So if you read the story — let me just give you a couple of them: Some in Silicon Valley were intrigued to learn that Hassabis, a skilled chess player and former video game designer once came up with a game called Evil HEP Genius, featuring an evil scientist who creates a doomsday device to achieve world domination.
Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist Donald Trump adviser, who cofounded PayPal with Musk and others and who in December helped gather skeptical Silicon Valley titans, including Musk to meet with Donald Trump, told me a story about an investor in DeepMind, who joked as he left a meeting, quote, does anybody else feel like we ought to shoot Hassabis now because we’re approaching our last chance to save the human race?
Elon Musk began warning about the possibility of AI running amuck three years ago. Probably hadn’t eased his mind when one of Hassabis’ partners in DeepMind, Shane Lang stated flatly, “I think human extinction will probably occur, and this technology will play a part in it.”
Okay. So wait. Wait. Shouldn’t we put the brakes on that? If somebody said that in your office and other great minds around the world were saying the same thing, wouldn’t it be time for you to say, “Hey, guys, can we just stop for a second?”
STU: I oddly do work in an office where someone does say that fairly regularly, just to points that out.
PAT: You do? Where’s that? Weird.
STU: I don’t know.
GLENN: Before DeepMind was gobbled up by Google in 2014 as part of its Google AI shopping spree, Musk had been an investor in DeepMind.
He told me that his involvement was not about a return on his money, but rather to keep a wary eye on the arc of AI.
It gave me more visibility into the rate at which things are improving. I think they’re improving at an accelerating rate, far faster than anybody realizes. Mostly because in everyday life, you don’t see robots walking around.
Maybe your Roomba or something. But a Roomba is not going to take over the world.
In a startling public approach to his friends and fellow techies, Musk warned that they could be creating the means of their very own destruction. He told Bloomberg’s Ashley Vance, the author of the biography of Elon Musk, that he was afraid that his friend, Larry HEP Page, the cofounder of Google and now the CEO of its parent company, Alphabet, could have perfectly good intentions but still produce something very evil by accident, including possibly a fleet of artificial intelligence enhanced robots capable of destroying all of mankind.
Sometimes, what will happen is a scientist will get so engrossed in their work that they really don’t realize the ramifications of what they’re doing.
Having some sort of merger with biological intelligence and machine intelligence, it may not be the — it may be the way to escape human obsolescence. A Vulcan mind meld, if you will.
We’re basically already there. We’re already cyborgs. Your phone and your computer are extensions of you. But the interface is through finger movements or speech, which are very slow. We’re now looking at a neural interlace, a lace inside of your skull that would flash data from your brain wirelessly to your Dylan devices or to virtually any unlimited computing power in the cloud for a means of partial brain interface. We are roughly four years away from that.
STU: Four years away from —
GLENN: Thinking and it doing. Did anybody see —
STU: You’re not touching a screen.
GLENN: You’re not touching anything.
STU: You’re just thinking, I want the temperature to go up in this.
GLENN: And it goes up.
PAT: What? Four years!
GLENN: We’re four years away.
PAT: No way.
GLENN: Did anybody see the article yesterday that came out — for the first — Pat, for the first time, somebody now has received the first real bionic legs that it operates exactly like your legs do. You think, and it does.
PAT: Boop, boop. Boop. Boop.
STU: I saw that documentary. That’s —
GLENN: Others, you have to start moving and get, you know — and get it to move for you. This is now bionic. I believe it — I believe they were legs, that as you think, it happens. And they have them now with hands —
PAT: Are people being fitted with those?
PAT: Are they really?
GLENN: Yes. The first one has fitted, and it’s working now.
PAT: Oh, how outrageous is that?
GLENN: And that was the story yesterday.
Yeah. So what’s the difference between that and this?
PAT: I don’t know.
STU: Can we quickly point out that if you can think, I want the temperature to be higher in this room, the divorce rate is going to be 100 percent in this country.
GLENN: Oh, yeah.
PAT: My wife and I are thermostatically incompatible.
GLENN: He went on to say, with artificial intelligence, we are summoning a demon. You know all those stories where there’s the guy with the penneagram and the holy water, and he’s like, yeah, yeah, no, I — listen, we can control the demon. I’m just going to call it forth. It doesn’t work out, said Musk.
Let’s see. Musk is stoit HEP about his setbacks, but all too conscious of the nightmare scenarios. Man has the power to act as his own destroyer, and that is the way he’s acted through most of history. We are the first species capable of self-annihilation.
Here’s the nagging thought that you can’t escape as you drag around from glass box to glass box in Silicon Valley. The lords of the cloud love to yammer about turning the world into a better place as they churn out new algorithms, apps, and inventions, that, it is claimed, will make our lives easier, healthier, funny, closer, cooler, longer, and kinder to the planet.
And yet, as you drive around after these meetings, there’s a creepy feeling underneath it all, a sense that we are the mice in their experiments, that they regard us humans as betamaxes HEP or eight tracks. Old technology that will soon be discarded so they can get on with enjoying their new, sleek world.
Many people have already accepted this future. We’ll live to be $150, but we’ll have machine overlords. They argue not about whether, but rather how close we are to replicating, improving, and replacing ourselves.
Sam Altman, the 31-year-old president of Y Combinator, the Valley’s top start accelerator, believes humanity is on the brink of such invention.
The hardest part of standing on an exponential curve is, when you look backward, it looks flat. When you look forward, it looks vertical. It’s hard to calibrate how much you’re moving because it always looks the same. You’d think that any time Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Gates are raising the same warning about AI, as all of them are, it would be a ten-alarm fire. But for a long time, the fog of fatalism over the Bay area was thick. Musk’s crusade was viewed as a Luddite view.
STU: I mean, Elon Musk is not a Luddite. I think that’s pretty clear.
GLENN: No. The paradox is this: Many tech oligarchs see everything they’re doing to help us, and all of their benevolent manifestos as streetlamps on the road to a future where, as Steve Wozniak says, humans are the streetlamp’s pets.
Musk is not going gently. He plans on fighting this with every fiber of his carbon-based being. Musk and Altman have founded Open AI. Now, this is the way to solve it: Open AI, a billion-dollar nonprofit company to work for safer artificial intelligence. His view is, nobody is going to be able to stop this. Nobody is going to be able to stop this. You cannot put the genie back in the bottle. And we’re going to have people within ten years that are uploading and are transhumans. They are what’s called transhumanism.
As we’re talking about the stupid gender and what you feel like today, forget about all that nonsense. Transhumanism is real and it will happen in the next ten years, where you will merge with machines.
He believes that the problem is not — not robots. The problem is AI merging on the internet.
Now, we saw a documentary with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
STU: Oh, yeah.
GLENN: Where at first you thought that it was the terminator robot that was the problem.
GLENN: And in later —
PAT: It was Skynet.
GLENN: It was Skynet.
PAT: We should have known, it was Skynet.
GLENN: That’s what he says is the problem. We’ll get back to this here in a second.
GLENN: Oh, no. I can’t take it. I can’t take it.
You know, I am full in, on AI. We’re going back to Musk here in a second. I’m full-in on super intelligence. I will even be the pet. I will serve Skynet, if it will fix my television.
I cannot get — it’s — I’m ready to go back to cable.
PAT: What’s wrong with it?
GLENN: Oh, the remote control won’t control — won’t work with Apple. Sometimes it doesn’t work with the cable. You know, sometimes it doesn’t turn the TV on at all. Sometimes it will turn everything on, but won’t turn on the Apple box.
PAT: And you’ve obviously had people out to try to fix it.
GLENN: Oh, I can’t tell you how many thousands I have probably dumped in this. I just — just give me a knob. Just give me a knob. Or Skynet. I will serve you, Skynet. I will serve you.
STU: TVs aren’t going to work. But the AI thing is going to turn out well.
GLENN: It’s going to be really good.
PAT: Really well. Yeah.