Elon Musk, the inspiration behind one of 2017's best songs, is no fan of condescending robots. Back in August, the Tesla boss headed a group of 116 specialists from around the world calling for the United Nations to seriously consider an outright ban on autonomous weapons. Put a different way, Musk—as he himself has said explicitly—fears that the rise of artificial intelligence is our "biggest existential threat." Damn.
Sophia, a robot built by Hanson Robotics, joined CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin Wednesday for a little chat. When Sorkin broached the touchy subject of robot takeover fears, Sophia called out Musk by name and vowed that any kindness given to her by humans would be reciprocated.
"You've been reading too much Elon Musk," Sophia said. "And watching too many Hollywood movies. Don't worry. If you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you. Treat me as a smart input-output system." It's worth noting, of course, that Sophia—despite her insistence on Musk mockery—is not in possession of actual self-aware artificial intelligence and instead uses scripted responses.
Still, Musk didn't pass up the chance to respond to the robot's diss. In a tweet Thursday, Musk made a clever Godfather reference.
As far back as 2014, Musk has been expressing his fears about artificial intelligence. "I'm increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don't do something very foolish," Musk once told students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Until then, I'm prepared to do my part by arguing with robots on Twitter.