Artificial intelligence more likely cause of World War III than North Korea - Elon Musk

Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk has delivered a disturbing warning - that artificial intelligence is more likely to bring about a third World War than North Korea.

In a series of tweets, Musk cautioned that the race for improved software and artificial intelligence may well make it dangerous and take it beyond the human intellect.

Sharing a news article in which Vladimir Putin claimed the nation that has the best artificial intelligence systems would be "the ruler of the world", Musk wrote simply: "It begins".

He then undertook the task of explaining how destructive a war run by artificial intelligence could be.

Musk's assertion is a particularly bold one given escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States, which have threatened to boil over amid progressed nuclear testing.

At a Security Council on Monday (local time), US Ambassador Nikki Haley said North Korea's Kim Jong Un was "begging for war", and urged the United Nations to introduce tough new sanctions.

"War is never something the United States wants. We don't want it now. But our country's patience is not unlimited. We will defend our allies and our territory," Ms Haley said.

But Musk said the fact that governments can easily seize promising artificial intelligence technology from developers means a World War could far more easily start that way.

It's not the first time Musk has warned of the risks to human civilisation from artificial intelligence. In July, he also cautioned that deep intelligence could start a war.