Elon Musk predicts AI will overtake humans to the point that 'biological intelligence will be 1%'

Elon Musk predicts AI will overtake humans to the point that 'biological intelligence will be 1%'

Elon Musk predicts that artificial intelligence (AI) will soon surpass human intelligence, becoming so ubiquitous that "intelligence that is biological will be less than 1 per cent".

The billionaire behind SpaceX, Neurolink, and Tesla, and the owner of the social media X, made the comments during an on-stage appearance on Thursday at the 27th annual Global Conference organised by the Milken Institute.

Answering questions from the audience on topics including AI, he responded that "AI might be the most important question of all".

"The percentage of intelligence that is biological grows smaller with each passing month. Eventually, the percentage of intelligence that is biological will be less than 1 per cent," Musk said.

Musk did not appear to envisage how long this will take. For the moment, AI has a lot of shortcomings and still requires human assistance, or the other way around.

"Biological intelligence can serve as a backstop, as a buffer of intelligence. But in percentage, almost all intelligence will be digital," he added.

Here are some of Musk’s other takes on topics that arose in discussion with controversial financier Michael Milken, the chairman at the eponymous institute.

On space exploration

Given his role in founding and leading SpaceX, Musk was understandably asked about space.

"We want to make science fiction, not fiction forever. Let’s make life multi-planetary and a space-bearing civilisation, be out there among the stars," he said adding that he was looking forward to "inspiring" space exploration programs.

SpaceX achieved major advances in the last years such as having the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the ISS with the Dragon capsule in 2012.

In 2015, it developed the first recoverable first-stage booster for an orbital mission that drastically reduced launch costs by enabling the reuse of expensive rocket parts.

On regulations

"Year after year, there are more laws and regulations passed and more regulatory bodies created. Eventually, everything will be illegal," Musk said in regard to innovation, adding that you needed a "garbage collection process" for rules and regulations.

This appears in contrast to his previous approach to AI regulation, however. Musk was among the signatories of an open letter calling for a "pause" in AI development in early 2023.

Musk stood by his prior position at the UK AI Safety Summit in late 2023, stating that "having a referee is a good thing" to reduce potential risks.

On Starlink

"I think Starlink will actually move the GDP of countries," Musk also added regarding his Starlink technology, a large network of satellites launched by SpaceX that provide Internet access to remote locations around the world.

Musk’s logic is that Internet connections provide people with knowledge and a means to distribute services and products.

During Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Starlink went on to become a key technology for sharing information and communications.