New York: Founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk has predicted a Third World War due to an increase in "competition for artificial intelligence (AI) superiority".
"North Korea should be low on our list of concerns for civilizational existential risk... Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of a Third World War (in my opinion)," Musk said in a series of tweets on Monday.
The billionaire's prediction was in response to a comment from Russian president Vladimir Putin who 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."
At the moment, the US, China and India are the three countries leading the AI race, reports CNN.
But Musk believes others will try to catch up by any means possible.
"Governments don't need to follow normal laws... They will obtain AI developed by companies at gunpoint, if necessary," he tweeted.
Musk speculated that an AI system could choose to start a war "if it decides that a pre-emptive strike is most probable path to victory".
The CEO has repeatedly issued warnings about the perils of AI, calling for new regulation to keep the public safe.
In response, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg termed Musk's prediction "pretty irresponsible", reports CNN.
Musk responded by calling Zuckerberg's understanding of the issue "limited".