When it comes to technology, one of the most talked about subjects is artificial intelligence. While it is fairly new territory, many companies are learning to better utilize AI to simplify the way we work, live, and play. Two such firms are Tesla and Facebook.
While both company heads agree that AI is important, it looks like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are on opposite sides in terms of how important it is.
Last month, Musk gave a speech in which he suggested that if artificial intelligence is left unchecked, it could possibly kill us all. Following that speech, Zuckerberg, whose company recently shut down some AI robots for developed their own language to talk to each other about exterminating the human race, criticized Musk’s statements. In response to the criticism, Musk tweeted that he had discussed AI with Zuckerberg and found his knowledge of the subject to be “limited.”
If Zuckerberg and Musk went to the same school, one could practically imagine them firing sucker punches and shouting “Your algorithm is so slow…” to each other on the playground. Instead, as grown-up tech titans, they fight each other with words on webcasts and Twitter.
Last week, Zuckerberg went on Facebook Live to show his grilling skills and talked about Arkansas because he is not running for political office. He then went on to criticize AI “naysayers” who drum up “doomsday scenarios” as “really negative, and in some ways… pretty irresponsible.” During the same live-stream, Zuckerberg claimed, “In the next five to 10 years, AI is going to deliver so many improvements in the quality of our lives.”
Musk has been the foremost evangelist for an AI apocalypse. Earlier last month, he told a gathering of United States governors, “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 his efforts to protect the world from the negative effects of AI, Musk cofounded a billion-dollar non-profit group whose goal is to create “safe AI.”
Mark Zuckerberg is optimistically biased about AI. There are plenty of reasons to question his beliefs. We’ll have to wait and see which genius is actually right. It is probably safe to say that Zuckerberg wins if our lives are immensely simplified by AI, and Musk wins if AI catastrophically destroys our lives.