Tesla Inc CEO Slams Facebook Inc (FB) CEO “Intelligence” Understanding

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Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is known for his love of Twitter platform, but he’s not often caught insulting the rest of the world’s rich and powerful on the platform. On Monday night, however, the EV company’s CEO made an exception and threw down the gauntlet to Mark Zuckerberg. The point of contention surrounds a disagreement over the real meaning of intelligence.

To be fair to Elon Musk, he didn’t really start the fight. Instead he was responding to a comment Mark Zuckerberg had made about him. The Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) CEO called Mr. Musk’s view of AI “pretty irresponsible”. He made that comment in response to a question asked during an informal Facebook Live Q&A Session.

Facebook CEO, Tesla boss throw down

The big difference between Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Musk’s thought is in risk valuation. Musk has often warned about the dangers of AI. In his town hall, the Facebook CEO said “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”.

Tesla Inc nasdaq:tsla - Elon Musk
Photo: Wikipedia/Creative Commons

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

Mr. Musk was curt in his response to the challenge. When the comment was sent to him on Twitter he claimed, that the Facebook Inc CEO’s “understanding of the subject is limited.”

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Musk reckons that AI will be better than humans at everything. He thinks radical policies like Universal Basic Income will be needed to address the massive job disruption. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB)‘s Mark Zuckerberg, like much of the Silicon Valley elite, also supports some form of basic income.

It’s the doomsday scenarios and the restrictions on innovation that he seems to disagree with.

Tesla Inc stock relies on Artificial Intelligence

Though Elon Musk is a stalwart in standing against runaway artificial intelligence, Tesla is central in the development of limited types of computer brains. One of the its biggest projects right now is dubbed Autopilot. It revolves around teaching a computer program to drive a car.

For those who think the Tesla Inc CEO is more super-villain than Iron Man, there could be an alternative explanation.

There is a theory that nuclear non-proliferation was not peace driven. Instead it was pushed by the United States, Russia and the other nuclear powers in order to prevent other countries rivaling their power. These countries generally vote against banning the tech. They do, however, constantly move for development to be restricted.

Amazon.com Inc, Artificial Intelligence MARS Conference

Taking a very cynical look at Elon Musk’s motives, he might benefit from greater controls on AI development, simply by virtue of being head of one of the first successful firms in the area.

If AI develops as Musk and Zuckerberg predict, the politics around it will be huge. It may even rival the birth of the atomic bomb for geopolitical impact.

That said, those holding Tesla stock will be hoping that development can speed up. Other firms are already trying to catch up with Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA). If Musk truly believes that Mark Zuckerberg’s “understanding of the subject is limited,” perhaps the car maker is much further ahead in AI than we assume.

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Aaron McLeish


  1. The interesting thing about computer programs that learn is that they begin to recognize patterns and the result is discrimination that is based completely on logic. Articles have already been written on this subject and it is alarming to many. Credit card and loan companies, for example, already have software that looks for patterns and assesses loan default risk while automatically adjusting interest rates offered to a particular person. Data has shown this AI software quickly “learns” that certain ethnicities, geographic locations and income profiles are more risk prone. Interest rates and loan approvals are adjusted accordingly, not by a racially biased human, but by an impartial computer. People are concerned about discrimination and rightfully so. But, how can you argue with the pure logic of the AI? It’s not biased, it just gathers facts and spits out a logical answer. Unfortunately, the further AI develops, the more this “discrimination” effect will manifest. AI seeks to always define the better solution. What will happen if AI is given free reign is those people that are not in the desired category will be left out or left behind. AI will speed Darwin’s survival of the fittest effect. Left to run it’s complete course, AI would soon determine such things like the homeless, indigent and mentally challenged are non-productive members of society and a cost drain. The next logical step to AI would be to “eliminate” the problem, because that is the logical solution. AI has no compassion. AI might be a neat thing, but what it returns is based on pure, emotionless, compassionless, logic and we might just want to pause for a moment and think “is this what we really want”?


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