Two heavyweight tech giants are battling it out over social media, as to whether artificial intelligence will prove a threat to humanity or a help.
The argument stemmed from Musk’s speech at the US National Governors Association in Rhode Island, where he warned that Artificial Intelligence will actually become a threat to humanity.
“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.”
Musk further warning that “AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”
Shortly after the conference, Zuckerberg posted a Facebook Live where he answered question from viewers in real time. The question about AI’s potential threat to the world was brought to Zuckerberg by the member of the public.
“I have pretty strong opinions on this,” Zuckerberg responded. “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.”
The argument continued to Twitter when Musk fired back after hearing Zuckerberg’s rather aggressive spiel. Saying:
I've talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.
I've talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 25, 2017
Zuckerberg has not responded as of yet.
Whether or not Artificial Intelligence is a threat to humanity remains to be seen.
Toby Walsh, Scientia Professor of AI, UNSW Sydney is a leading researcher in Artificial Intelligence. He spends most of his time talking about the future and the subsequent social and economic implications of AI. He explains:
“Technologies like AI are a morally neutral force that can be used to increase or decrease these changes. It can make us all healthier, wealthier and happier. Or it can concentrate wealth into the hands of the owners of the robots, put many people out of work, and divide further our fractured societies.”
But does Walsh really believe AI has the potential to take our jobs and overthrow humanity?
I doubt it. The workers are going to rise up long before the robots. We need to worry about the corrosive effects of stupid AI today rather than smart AI in a century's time.