As the digital world continues to meld with our traditional, physical realm, a few enormous names in the cyber scene are clashing over their predictions for the future.
On one side of this digi-debate is Mark Zuckerberg, the young billionaire at the helm of social media leviathan Facebook. Zuckerberg and his ever-invasive platform have been accused in the past of censoring and skewing their content footprint to favor liberal politics; a claim backed up by the site’s admission to removing conservative source from their “trending topics” algorithm.
In the opposite corner we have Elon Musk; futuristic hard goods pioneer who brought us Tesla motorcars, private space exploration, and soon-to-come solar panel roofing materials. Musk, who has often revealed his visions for the future, had some disparaging words regarding the advent of artificial intelligence – specifically warning that AI could easily usher in a number of doomsday scenarios. Of course, this is hardly the first time that anyone has held this opinion, as evidenced by a multitude of movies and literature on the subject.
Zuckerberg, whose site is learning from its gigantic user base, didn’t take too kindly to the fellow Silicon Valley magnate’s assertions.
“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent his Sunday afternoon smoking meats and doing a Facebook Live from his backyard in Palo Alto, California. While waiting for his brisket to slow cook, he delivered an admonition to Elon Musk, his fellow Silicon Valley billionaire, and others who sound alarm bells over artificial intelligence posing a threat to our safety and well-being.
“AI is going to make our lives better in the future, and doomsday scenarios are ‘pretty irresponsible,’ says Zuckerberg.
“A user submitted a question, which Zuckerberg read out loud: ‘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?’“Earlier in July, Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, said that artificial intelligence will cause massive job disruption, that robots ‘will be able to do everything better than us.’
“Musk also expressed dire concern over a future shared with robots: ‘I have exposure to the most cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned by it,’ Musk said. ‘AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.'”
Is Zuckerberg bristling at the insistence of Musk due to a clandestine investment in AI technology by Facebook? Or is Musk’s assertion nothing more than the conjecture of a tech giant?
In either case, artificial intelligence continues to be a hot button issue for many. The possibilities for self-evolving technology are certainly confounding and near-infinite, but will these future devices really work to eliminate human beings? The thought seems more likely to be fleshed out in a James Cameron film than a Facebook live transmission from a billionaire’s backyard.