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Elon Musk says competing for AI superiority will lead to World War 3

Elon Musk and Vladimir Putin have found an unlikely shared interest - AI

Tesla founder Elon Musk has warned that competition for superiority in the artificial intelligence industry at national level is the "most likely cause" of World War 3.

Responding to a story about Vladimir Putin talking about AI research, Musk tweeted: "It begins... China, Russia, soon all countries with strong computer science [will target AI]."

Russian President Putin spoke to students about the potential for AI, with an emphasis on how it will be used to wield power by countries.

"Artificial intelligence is the future, not just for Russia, but for all humankind," said Putin, in a report by RT.

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"There are colossal opportunities but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world."

Putin also added that he would not want monopolisation of the field, instead insisting that if Russia was to become industry leaders, they would "share this information with the entire world."

Lacking regulation, governments would "obtain AI developed by companies at gunpoint" according to Musk, who has repeatedly warned of the dangers of AI in the past.

His opinions on artificial intelligence have sparked verbal spats with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, with Musk calling the social media guru's understanding of the subject "limited."

Zuckerberg said that Musk was being "irresponsible" in his warnings over a robotic future, in a rivalry that began when a Facebook satellite was destroyed after its SpaceX shuttle exploded on launch.

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