Elon Musk has a vested interest in artificial intelligence -- but not for reasons you’d expect.

As an investor in AI ventures DeepMind (prior to its acquisition by Google in January) and Vicarious, Musk explained that “it’s not from the standpoint of actually trying to make any investment return. I like to just keep an eye on what’s going on.”

In an interview yesterday with CNBC, Musk described his paranoia of a Terminator-like future of robots gone awry. “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition,” he said. “But you have to be careful.”

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The irony here, noted CNBC’s Kelly Evans, is that Musk is the driving force behind both Tesla and Space X -- two enterprises whose very mission is to push the boundaries of technology as we know it.

If robots were to rise up against humanity, asked Evans, what could be done? Given Musk’s expertise in the realm of space travel -- “the first people could be taken to Mars in 10, 12 years,” he said -- she suggested an “escape to Mars if there is no other option.”

“The AI will chase us there pretty quickly,” he responded.

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