9 Leadership Lessons From What Elon Musk Has Done And Said About AI – Forbes

Elon Musk is that rare business executive who provides examples and lessons of what business leaders … [+] should do—and avoid doing. Germany. (Photo by Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images)
Elon Musk is that rare business executive who often provides examples and lessons of what corporate leaders should do—and avoid doing.
The examples of what to avoid come from Musk’sacquisition and management of Twitter, which he has rebranded as X. The leadership lessons others should consider following are based on what he has done and said recently about AI.
“I think Elon is incredibly curious and a natural when it comes to large audacious experiments, some work, some do not, but the key is to learn and iterate,” Ari Lightman, a Distinguished Service Professor of Digital Media and Marketing at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, said via email.
“AI can quickly create issues (political, social, regulatory) if not thought through with the right safeguards. I think Elon has shown that he is not afraid to take on these issues and deal with the associated public perception,” Lightman said.
As I wrote recently, new technology such as AI can have both advantages and downsides. Successful leaders should pay attention to the potential dangers and warn others about the pitfalls—the earlier, the better.
CNN reported that “Elon Musk warned in an interview that artificial intelligence could lead to ‘civilization destruction,’ even as he remains deeply involved in the growth of AI through his many companies, including a rumored new venture.
“AI is more dangerous than, say, mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance or bad car production…it has the potential—however small one may regard that probability, but it is non-trivial— it has the potential of civilization destruction,” Musk said in the interview.
Elon Musk is that rare business executive who provides examples and lessons of what business leaders … [+] should do—and avoid doing. Germany. (Photo by Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images)
“Don’t avoid what is obviously coming but figure out how to work within it. Musk knew AI was inevitable, so he decided he might as well provide an alternative to what was on the market rather than withdraw from it,” Baruch Labunski, CEO of Rank Secure, said via email.
“You don’t have to give up your values to compete. Musk does have basic values that played a role in his leaving OpenAI. He is incorporating those values into his AI company. Namely, that’s making transparency and truth a priority over political correctness,” Labunski observed.
“Musk’s call for a pause on AI research in March 2023 with the famous AI Pause Letter, followed by the launch of xAI, reflects his ability to navigate controversy and complexity,” Patrick Delaney, a software enginer specialzing in AI, said in a statement.
“This demonstrates a leader’s responsibility to voice concerns about the implications of their field, yet continue to drive innovation,” he observed.
Musk’s new venture xAI, especially with its focus on “TruthGPT,” underlines his commitment to influence the narrative around AI and the way they term misinformation,” according to Delaney. “This highlights how leaders can take control and shape conversations around critical issues in their industry.”
“Musk’s involvement of industry leaders from various tech giants in the xAI project demonstrates the importance of coalition-building. It’s a testament to how leaders can create powerful alliances, bringing together diverse expertise to tackle complex issues,” he concluded.
“I think business leaders can take a lesson on tenacity and conviction from Elon,” Carnegie Mellon’s Lightman said.
“There is a lot to wonder about in terms of his approach and actions, but his ability to challenge the status quo and fly in the face of adversity is admirable. Also, his ability to predict market patterns and needs as well as be opportunistic,” such as Neurolink, Musk’s brain chip start-up company.