23 October 2018
Mark Zuckerberg says naysayers about AI are irresponsible. Photo: Forbes
Mark Zuckerberg says naysayers about AI are irresponsible. Photo: Forbes

Musk says Zuckerberg naive about killer robots

Silicon Valley baron Elon Musk called rival billionaire Mark Zuckerberg naive, escalating a tech wizard war of words over whether robots will become smart enough to kill their human creators, Reuters reports.

“His understanding of the subject is limited,” Musk said in a tweet about the Facebook Inc.  founder whose algorithms and other technology revolutionized social media and won two billion monthly active users.

Previously, Zuckerberg was asked about Musk’s views on the dangers of robots. In his response, Zuckerberg chided “naysayers” whose “doomsday scenarios” were “irresponsible.”

Zuckerberg and Musk, who is chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc.  and rocket company SpaceX, have been waging a debate at a distance over the past few days on the dangers of artificial intelligence.

The two sharply disagree on whether tougher government regulation is needed for the technology.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the tweet, which Musk sent at 3:07 a.m. California time from his verified account, @elonmusk.

The term artificial intelligence, or AI, is used to describe machines with computer code that learns as it goes. The technology is becoming widely used in sectors such as healthcare, entertainment and banking.

Fear that machines could become so intelligent that they might rise up and overthrow humanity is a common theme in science fiction.

Musk told a gathering of US governors this month that the potential dangers are not so imaginary, and that they should move to regulate AI.

“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 said, according to a video of the event.

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