While there has been plenty of conversation over the possibility that robots will replace humans in the work force, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk believes the threat is existential for people. The billionaire warned humans will soon have to learn to communicate with artificial intelligence or face becoming obsolete.

“Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence," Musk said while speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, according to a report from CNBC. "It's mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output."

Musk, who was at the event to announce the launch of Tesla in the United Arab Emirates, suggested that a merger between humans and machines will be necessary for the species going forward, lest it find itself made irrelevant.

The founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX pointed to the processing power of a computer compared to that of a person’s brain, explaining that computers can communicate at “a trillion bits per second” while humans do so at about 10 bits per second. In other words, people just won’t be able to keep up.

As an example, Musk used an area of artificial intelligence he is intimately familiar with: autonomous vehicles. He said the technology is much closer than people realize, and it will be adopted quickly because of its convenience. That’s great for the people who will use it, but less so for those who are currently behind the wheel for a living.

"There are many people whose jobs are to drive. In fact I think it might be the single largest employer of people,” Musk said. “Driving in various forms. So we need to figure out new roles for what do those people do, but it will be very disruptive and very quick."

By his estimation, 12 to 15 percent of the global workforce will be unemployed as autonomous vehicles begin to take to the roads over the next 20 years.

That same fate could hit other industries and, according to Musk, humanity itself. He spoke of "artificial general intelligence," defined as a machine that can successfully perform any intellectual task that a human can, which he warned would be "smarter than the smartest human on earth" and called it a "dangerous situation.”

It’s not the first time Musk has suggested as much. He has previously stated his belief that it’s “only a matter of time ” until AI is advanced enough to become a threat to humanity. In 2015, he launched a nonprofit AI research company to develop best practices and help prevent potentially harmful applications of the technology.

Despite Musk’s fears, researchers at JASON, an independent advisory group comprised of scientists and experts that brief the government on matters of science and technology, recently reported that most computer scientists believe the possible threats posed by AI to be “at best uninformed” and those concerns “do not align with the most rapidly advancing current research directions of AI as a field.”