Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, recently made waves with a bold prediction about the future of artificial intelligence (AI). In an interview riddled with technical difficulties, Musk claimed that AI surpassing human intelligence, known as Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), could be achieved as soon as next year or by 2026.

This timeline is significantly faster than many other experts’ predictions. Some, like Ray Kurzweil, a futurist and engineer, believe AGI is achievable by 2029. However, Musk has consistently expressed a sense of urgency regarding AI development, even founding his own AI startup, xAI, to challenge OpenAI, which he co-founded but has since distanced himself from due to disagreements over its direction.

During the interview, Musk emphasized the critical role of advancements in chip technology for unlocking AGI’s potential. He also revealed details about the upcoming iteration of Grok, the AI chatbot developed by xAI, which is expected to be fully trained by May.

The prospect of AI surpassing human intelligence has both excited and worried experts. While some believe it could lead to vast advancements in various fields, others fear an existential threat if AI development surpasses our ability to control it. Musk himself has been vocal about the potential dangers of unregulated AI, advocating for stricter controls.

Whether Musk’s prediction comes true remains to be seen. However, his comments highlight the rapid pace of AI development and the need for open discussions about its ethical implications and potential risks and rewards.