Zuckerberg vs. Musk: Tech titans fall out over Elon’s ‘irresponsible’ views on AI
A battle has erupted over artificial intelligence this week, but rather than a fight pitching humanity against angry robots, it involves two industry titans sniping at each other via social media.
Elon Musk, CEO and founder of Tesla and SpaceX, today slammed Mark Zuckerberg for his “limited” understanding of AI, following comments made by the Facebook boss over the weekend.
The argument began following an interview last week in which Musk reiterated his bleak view of the emerging technology, describing it as an “existential risk to human civilisation” and calling for governments to introduce proactive regulation to ensure it best serves humanity.
“I keep sounding the alarm bell, but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react, because it seems so ethereal,” Musk added.
Later that week, during a Facebook livestream with fans, Zuckerberg labelled those comments as “pretty irresponsible”, saying that he remained “optimistic” and couldn’t understand why naysayers would “try and drum up these doomsday scenarios”.
“In the next five to 10 years, AI is going to deliver so many improvements in the quality of our lives,” added Zuckerberg.
A Twitter user then posted a link to Zuckerberg’s comments earlier today, which spurred Musk to reply: “I’ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.”
It appears Musk, who claims to have “exposure to the very cutting edge AI”, believes Zuckerberg is not qualified to speak on the subject, and maintains that AI will pose a risk to humanity if development is left unchecked. Specifically, he refers to companies racing to beat their competition while failing to adequately consider the potential ramifications of the technology.
No one individual can accurately predict how AI will impact society, yet a public conversation between two of the industry’s leading figures is unusual, though numerous tech figures like Bill Gates have spoken out about it previously.
However, what both Zuckerberg and Musk have agreed on is the introduction of a ‘universal basic income’, a measure to help mitigate any potential disruption caused by AI entering the workplace.