Earlier this week, Elon Musk and Grimes made their debut together at the Met Gala, securing their position as the weirdest celebrity couple in existence. According to Page Six, Grimes has been quietly dating Musk for quite some time, or at least long enough for her to be willing to wear a Tesla symbol around her neck. That didn’t stop Musk from tweeting, on Monday, the joke that began their unlikely courtship:
Given his regular Twitter activity, it should be no surprise that Musk’s earliest romantic maneuvers revolved around a lame dad joke and a thought experiment involving a killer AI. The above tweet, which Musk posted on Monday, is apparently something he thought up about a month ago only to discover that Grimes had already posted something similar. The “joke” is a simple mashup of the late-baroque art style, Rococo, and the modern thought experiment Roko’s Basilisk. Not exactly side-splitting comedy, but per Page Six, it was enough of an in for Musk to strike up a conversation with the musician.
What’s Roko’s Basilisk you ask? It’s essentially a spooky internet campfire story. The thought experiment, originally posted on the rationality-obsessed forum Less Wrong, proposes that humanity will build an artificial superintelligence at some point in the future which will be tasked with saving the human race. The only problem is that that superintelligence may go to extreme lengths to achieve its goal, including killing anyone who isn’t actively assisting it in its efforts. The potential danger of a thought experiment like Roko’s Basilisk is that once you’ve heard about it, you have to dedicate yourself to building and assisting that killer AI or risk ending up on its hit list. (We realize by making you read this, we’ve placed you in harm’s way. Sorry.)
Long story short, it’s exactly the kind of thing a guy like Elon Musk would be aware of and then make cheeky reference to on his Twitter. Lucky for him, it’s also the kind of thing Grimes is into, which—given her history of getting into weird shit like sailing a house boat down the Mississippi with a bunch of chickens and potatoes—shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.
Now that we know how this all got started, we can take a step back and let these two mismatched love birds enjoy their newfound relationship. Or, we can take the low road and continue to dunk on them online.
Both options have their merits.
Send Great Job, Internet tips to firstname.lastname@example.org