- At Musk’s 2013 birthday event, he and Larry Page discussed the role of AI in humanity’s future, according to biographer Walter Isaacson’s retelling.
- While the page labeled Musk an “expert”, Musk defended his views as “pro-human”.
- Musk tried to block Google’s acquisition of AI company DeepMind, saying Page should not control the future of AI, Isaacson wrote in a Time magazine report.
In the lead-up to Google’s acquisition of DeepMind in 2014, Elon Musk tried to stop the deal and buy the AI company himself.
Walter Isaacson — the author who spent three years following Musk to write his biography — details the background of the buyout effort in his upcoming biography, “Elon Musk.” The book will be released on September 12. Time magazine published an excerpt of the biography on Wednesday.
According to Isaacson, Musk’s distrust of then-Google CEO Larry Page and his views on AI were the reasons behind the failed attempt.
He recounted an exchange between Kasturi and Page at the former’s 2013 birthday event in Napa Valley, California, where the two figures disagreed over the possibility of AI replacing humans.
During the conversation, Page labeled Musk a “speciesist” — someone who favors their own species — while Musk defended his stance, saying, “Well, yeah, I’m a humanist, I like humanity, dude,” according to Isaacson. Account
Page, on the other hand, felt that the distinction between humans and machines was unimportant and that machines could represent the next stage of evolution if they surpassed human intelligence.
After the encounter, Musk contacted DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis in 2013 and tried to convince him not to take the Google deal.
“The future of AI should not be controlled by Larry,” Musk told Hassabis, according to Isaacson’s account.
Musk, along with PayPal co-founder Luke Nosek, attempted to co-finance Hasbis’s acquisition of the company. However, Google announced the acquisition of DeepMind in 2014 for $500 million.
Musk’s last-minute attempt to buy DeepMind — which never made it to the company’s board — has been documented before.
In April 2023, the billionaire entrepreneur said in an interview with Tucker Carlson that his and Page’s differing views on AI were the catalyst for co-founding OpenAI in 2015. Musk left OpenAI’s board in 2018 and has been critical of the company ever since. .
Later, Musk founded his own AI startup, xAI. Page is currently a board member and controlling shareholder of Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
Musk is not alone in expressing concern about AI’s threat to humanity. Even OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton have sounded the alarm on the dangers posed by AI.
Still, a group of AI experts signed an open letter in April arguing that a focus on hypothetical risks ignores the real harm AI is causing today.
Musk, Page and Google did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours.
Read the full article on Time’s website.
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