and Mark Zuckerberg, among the world’s most recognisable billionaires, are locked in a fight over artificial intelligence
(AI). “I’ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited,” the Tesla founder tweeted on Tuesday in response to the Silicon Valley Business Journal
which reported Zuckerberg had said the doomsday scenario put forward by Musk was “irresponsible”.
Musk over the weekend said AI needed to be regulated because it poses a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilisation”, the Journal reported. “I have exposure to the very cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it,” Musk said at the National Governors Association summer meeting on Saturday. “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.”
In a Facebook Live broadcast, the Facebook co-founder and CEO took various questions in his backyard during a barbeque, including one on AI.
Saying he was getting weary over the fear-mongering over AI, Zuckerberg said: “I have pretty strong opinions on this. I am optimistic…. 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.”
Musk said a movie on the subject of AI was “coming soon,” but didn't provide details about the film or his involvement, CNN reported, calling it a battle of tech billionaires.
The two billionaires represented two distinct groups, “those saying AI's benefits will outweigh its negatives and those saying it could ultimately destroy humanity,” the BBC reported. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has also voiced concern about the threat AI poses, as has astrophysicist Stephen Hawking.
Three years ago, during a talk at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Musk first warned that AI could destroy humans, calling it humanity's “biggest existential threat”. He has also founded OpenAI, a billion-dollar non-profit company working for “safer artificial intelligence”, the report said.
But Zuckerberg shared a more optimistic vision. In his Facebook Live session, he pointed out AI would be responsible for such lifesaving services such as diagnosing diseases and driving cars, the Journal reported. “One of the top causes of death for people is car accidents still and if you can eliminate that with AI, that is going to be just a dramatic improvement,” he was quoted as saying.