It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the billionaires are at it again.
While taking questions during a Facebook Live broadcast, Mark Zuckerberg was asked about a recent interview in which Elon Musk issued a pretty stern, and rather dystopian, opinion about the future “threat” of Artificial Intelligence.
Zuckerberg answered the question in what many took to be a shot at Musk’s summation that AI is dangerous. The Facebook founder said of AI,
“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.”
Zuckerberg offered a further response, saying that any and all technology can be used for good and for bad,
“Whenever I hear people saying AI is going to hurt people in the future, I think yeah, you know, technology can generally always be used for good and bad, and you need to be careful about how you build it and you need to be careful about what you build and how it is going to be used,”
Elon caught wind of Mark’s comments and replied to a story on Twitter with his own pithy putdown of The Zuck.
I've talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 25, 2017
Billionaire shots fired!
Look at that condescension, “his understanding of the subject is limited.” That’s some Silicon Valley ether.
Zuckerberg was referring to comments made by Musk to the National Governors Association on Saturday that people should be “really concerned” about AI.
Musk told the nation’s governors,
“I have exposure to the very cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it. 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.”
The ambitious South African-born entrepreneur insisted that strict regulation of AI is crucial to limiting the threat of AI,
“AI is a rare case where we need to be proactive about regulation instead of reactive. Because I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’s too late.”
A billionaire calling for regulation. 2017 sure is weird.
These two tech magnates offer very different views of the future.
In Musk’s version, we live in a simulated world of bloodthirsty robots who will try to take over the planet.
Whereas Mark Zuckerberg offers an optimistic future in which AI is going to make the world a better place. Zuckerberg in fact said in his Facebook Live that “in the next five to 10 years, AI is going to deliver so many improvements in the quality of our lives.”
Perhaps this is in line with Zuckerberg’s widely-speculated presidential candidacy. He is currently on a 50-state speaking tour that may indeed be the most obvious sign of a 2020 presidential run.
Honestly, the way American politics are going we’ll probably have a Zuck/Musk showdown in 2020.
In the meantime, I’m here for all the Billionaire Beef.