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Musk, Zuckerberg Trade Insults Over AI's "Existential Threat"

Elon Musk's recent comments about AI's "existential threat to human civilization" prompted a response from Mark Zuckerberg calling the Tesla CEO's comments "pretty irresponsible." Well Musk has struck back this morning, slamming the Facebook chief's understanding of AI as "limited."

As a reminder, Musk called on the government to proactively regulate artificial intelligence before things advance too far.(Musk begins talking around 42 minutes in)

“Until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal,” he said.

 

“AI is a rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive. Because I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’s too late.”

 

“Normally the way regulations are set up is a while bunch of bad things happen, there’s a public outcry, and after many years a regulatory agency is set up to regulate that industry,” he continued.

 

“It takes forever. That, in the past, has been bad but not something which represented a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization. AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”

Musk has been concerned about AI for years, and he’s working on technology that would connect the human brain to the computer software meant to mimic it.

And then, as The Independent reports, during a Facebook Live over the weekend, Mr Zuckerberg picked out a question that had been submitted to him by a viewer.

“I watched a recent interview with Elon Musk and his largest fear for future was AI. What are your thoughts on AI and how it could affect the world?” it asked.

 

Mr Zuckerberg answered: “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.

 

“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.”

Mr Zuckerberg dismissed those fears. He continued:

"In the next five to 10 years, AI is going to deliver so many improvements in the quality of our lives. 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.

 

“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.

 

“But people who are arguing for slowing down the process of building AI, I just find that really questionable. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that.”

Musk decided to hit back in a comment posted to Twitter...

I've talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

AI Wars - begun they have...