I’d like to stay and chat, but you have a limited understanding of the topic.

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An epic battle of tech minds is about to go down. 

Mark Zuckerberg just commented on artificial intelligence, saying people who warn of “doomsday scenarios” regarding AI are “pretty irresponsible.” 

This did not sit well with Elon Musk, who returned fire on Twitter, saying Zuckerberg’s understanding of the subject is “limited.”

The Facebook CEO made the comment during a Facebook Live open interview with users Monday; the question he was answering actually mentioned Musk. 

Musk’s stance on the dangers of AI is well documented. The CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and neurotech company Neuralink (among other things) said on multiple occasions that humanity should be concerned about AI. 

He called for regulation of AI and even called it “the greatest risk we face as a civilization.”

Zuckerberg, who also knows a thing or two about AI, has a wildly different stance. On Facebook Live, he said he’s “optimistic” about the advance of artificial intelligence. 

“I think that people who are naysayers and kinda of try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just don’t understand it. I think it’s really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible,” Zuckerberg said. 

“In the next five to ten years, AI is going to deliver so many improvements to our lives. (…) If you’re arguing against AI, then you’re arguing against safer cars that aren’t going to have accidents, and you’re arguing against being able to better diagnose people when they are sick.”

Musk’s response was quite dismissive, but he quickly realized that this cannot just stay at that one tweet. 

He followed up by pointing out that AI is improving at a “double exponential rate,” by which he meant that “AI hardware & software are both exponential.”

Finally, Musk cryptically said that a “movie on the subject is coming soon,” which is just as likely to be a joke as a serious remark. 

Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest spaces in tech right now, with just about every major tech company scrambling to employ it in some fashion, be it to build that perfect digital assistant or to teach a car how to drive itself

It’s hard to say how deeply Musk or Zuckerberg are involved with AI projects on a day-to-day basis, but it’s safe to assume that they both know what they’re talking about. 

So who’s right? It’s impossible to say, but Musk does have one advantage in the discussion. If an army of evil robots enslaves us in a couple of years, he can claim victory (from his Matrix-style pod). And if it doesn’t happen, he can always say the AI just needs more time. 

In any case, we’re looking forward to round two!

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