Before 2030, Elon Musk is making an effort to establish a manned Mars base. However, its primary full-time occupants may not be humans. On Thursday, 27 December, the SpaceX CEO said that the chances of the first resident of the red planet being an artificial superintelligence system are 30 percent.

It is a daring announcement from the technology tycoon, who has frequently warned the officials to take the advancement in artificial intelligence more seriously. SpaceX has already been going with its go-getting schedule to direct two Starships to the red planet by 2022, leaving the place for more four ships in 2024, out of which two will take the first humans to Mars.

In November, Musk claimed that a Mars colony could come into existence in the coming 7 to 10 years, which means that this could happen as soon as 2025. This shows that Musk considers that there is a possibility that an artificial general intelligence can come quite soon – or that the planet will get its first stable inhabitant quite long after the development of Mars colony.  

Although placing an AI in Mars reminds mind of HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, it could help by performing more ordinary role like maintenance manager, assisting in homes such as the ones mentioned by Lewis Dartnell, an astrobiologist.

NASA has already engaged AI for its Mars tasks in small roles, utilizing many simulations to model latest algorithm for the Ciriosity rover, which decreases its wheels pressure by 20 percent. Neural, a software development company has also made software with the intent to assist the rover route through the Martian desert.

Musk is particularly careful about the growth of more general superintelligence. In July 2017, he stated to American state governors that artificial intelligence is “a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”

Then again in the same year, he asked the officials to quickly act on AI by citing 1994 song “Regulate” of Warren G. Neuralink, his secretive venture, intends to develop brain-computer interfaces to assist in making a mutual relationship with these machines.

However, Musk claims that there is a small possibility that an AI will be the first resident on Mars. He says there is a much greater possibility that he will visit the planet in his lifetime. In November, the 47-year-old said that there is a likelihood of 70 percent that he will dare to visit Mars himself.