Mark Zuckerberg And Elon Musk Clash Over AI Destiny

Serial tech entrepreneur Elon Musk and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have clashed over artificial intelligence (AI) with the former accusing the latter of not understanding the emergent technology.

The situation was sparked when Zuckerberg, in an informal Facebook Live chat, said Musk’s concerns over a doomsday scenario brought about by the rise of AI was unhelpful in addressing concerns around the development of smart technology.

Musk the took to Twitter to announce he had talked to Zuckerberg about AI and that the Facebook chief executive knowledge of the subject was “limited”.

“I’ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited,” tweeted Musk.

AI divides opinion

The difference in opinion comes from Zuckerberg’s belief that AI can benefit society in a fashion that outweighs its negative affects, while Musk’s is in the camp that AI will ultimately destroy human society, a view shared in part by a few fellow technology luminaries such as Bill Gates.

“In the next five to 10 years, AI is going to deliver so many improvements in the quality of our lives,” said Zuckerberg said on the Facebook Live cast.

“I have pretty strong opinions on this. I am optimistic. I think you can build things and the world gets better. But with AI especially, I am really optimistic,” he added.

“And I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios – I just, I don’t understand it. It’s really negative, and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible.”

In contrast, Musk has previously declared AI to be the “biggest existential threat” to humanity; one could argue that given the wars in human history and the damage people cause to the environment, that humanity is arguably humanity’s largest threat.

The subject of AI is a divisive one, with some worrying AI is likely to steal jobs from humans rather than necessarily destroy them.

Regardless of these concerns, it would appear that AI development is in no way slowing down.

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Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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