Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk said the international artificial intelligence race could be the likely cause of World War 3 in a series of tweets Sunday.
Musk tweeted a link to an article quoting Russian President Vladimir Putin, who recently said: "Artificial intelligence is the future not only of Russia but of all of mankind. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world."
Musk added to that, saying that the international race to be the leader in artificial intelligence, or AI, could lead to dire consequences.
"China, Russia, soon all countries w strong computer science. Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3," Musk wrote.
Musk added that a WW3 scenario might not even be the choice of a human leader, but the result of an AI program deciding to strike another country first.
"May be initiated not by the country leaders, but one of the AI's, if it decides that a prepemptive strike is most probable path to victory," the Tesla founder tweeted.
With North Korea on many people's minds as the country continues to threaten missile strikes and the United States threatens to retaliate, several Twitter users asked Musk about that scenario. But Musk didn't seem concerned with the possibility of a nuclear war erupting because of the geopolitical spat between Washington and Pyongyang.
"[North Korea] launching a nuclear missile would be suicide for their leadership, as [South Korea, United States] and China would invade and end the regime immediately," he wrote. "Should be low on our list of concerns for civilizational existential risk. NK has no entangling alliances that would polarize world into war."
This isn't the first time Musk has expressed concern about autonomous or artificial intelligence technology wreaking havoc on mankind.
Last month, he and several other tech leaders from around the world signed an open letter to the United Nations calling for a ban on "autonomous weapons," also known as killer robots.
"Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend," the letter said.