An anonymous reader shares a report: Elon Musk has said again that artificial intelligence could be humanity's greatest existential threat, this time by starting a third world war. The prospect clearly weighs heavily on Musk's mind, since the SpaceX, Tesla and Boring Company chief tweeted at 2.33am Los Angeles time about how AI could led to the end of the world -- without the need for the singularity. His fears were prompted by a statement from Vladimir Putin that "artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind ... It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world." Hashing out his thoughts in public, Musk clarified that he was not just concerned about the prospect of a world leader starting the war, but also of an overcautious AI deciding "that a [pre-emptive] strike is [the] most probable path to victory." Musk added, "Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 in my opinion. [...] Govts don't need to follow normal laws. They will obtain AI developed by companies at gunpoint, if necessary."