Russia's Putin: Artificial intelligence leader will rule world

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Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a state awarding ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Pavel Golovkin/Pool (Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the country that masters artificial intelligence technology will be the “ruler of the world” and leader in military might.

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Putin, speaking Friday at a meeting with students, said the development of AI raises "colossal opportunities and threats that are difficult to predict now."

He warned that "the one who becomes the leader in this sphere will be the ruler of the world."

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The Russian president’s comments come weeks after top tech barons Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg engaged in a public spat over AI’s future impact on the world. Zuckerberg, when asked about Musk’s concerns about AI, said those who push “doomsday scenarios” about the technology are being “irresponsible.

Musk fired back, stating his view that Zuckerberg has a “limited” understanding of the dangers of AI.

"AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization," Musk said.

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Putin warned that "it would be strongly undesirable if someone wins a monopolist position" and promised that Russia would be ready to share its know-how in artificial intelligence with other nations.

The Russian leader predicted that future wars will be fought by drones, and "when one party's drones are destroyed by drones of another, it will have no other choice but to surrender."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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