The prospect clearly weighs heavily on Musk's mind, since the SpaceX, Tesla and Boring Company chief tweeted at 2.33am Los Angeles time about how AI could lead to the end of the world.
His fears were prompted by a statement from Vladimir Putin that: "artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind ... It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world."
Musk clarified that he was not just concerned about the prospect of a world leader starting the war, but also of an overcautious AI deciding "that a [pre-emptive] strike is [the] most probable path to victory".
This was the theme for the 1980s flick Wargames, sowhat we need to do is tell AI to play a few games of noughts and crosses to sort it out.
Musk added: "Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 in my opinion. Governments don't need to follow normal laws. They will obtain AI developed by companies at gunpoint, if necessary."