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Elon Musk and World’s First Robotic Citizen Trade Trolls on Twitter

We’re all afraid of something — speaking in public, spiders, someone tripping and poking through your bellybutton with their finger (don’t judge me) — but those fears often just concern ourselves. Elon Musk, on the other hand, probably loses sleep over the thought of artificially intelligent systems quickly and catastrophically outpacing human intelligence. Can you imagine then, his reaction to the world’s first robotic “citizen” name-dropping him during a press conference? Well, you don’t have to, because he responded with a troll.

The “it” in question is Hanson Robotics’ “Sophia,” a humanoid animatronic robot that uses AI and scripted responses to hold basic conversations. Sophia was recently granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia — more of a PR stunt to hype a tech conference than an effort to show a good face to our robot overlords.

Musk’s response reflected the basic fear he usually highlights: no matter what we build these intelligences to do, what they do, even with our good intentions, could be beyond our control. I mean, a Godfather-based robot may grant you a great favor, but it also may whack you as a way to solve a problem.

Also on the show today, Robert Bigelow aerospace gigolo wants to beat Elon to the Moon, the Muskmeister goes camping (but not anywhere you’d expect), and we get some uplifting news about Tesla’s work in still struggling Puerto Rico.

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What do you think of this week’s top stories? What else would you like to see us discuss on Muskwatch? Let us know in the comments below!

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