When you think tech these days, most images pale in comparison to that of tech billionaires Elon Musk (Tesla, PayPal and SpaceX) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook). Theyâ€™re household names. If you have been following the news recently, you will have also seen that thereâ€™s been a huge feud between the two billionaires about the potential threat that artificial intelligence (A.I.) poses to human beings.
On the topic, Elon Musk has warned us for years that AI is a huge risk to humanity. He believes that when humans create computers that are smarter than us, the result will be massive job disruption due to the AI being better than us in all that we do. He also believes that A.I will pose a violent threat to humanity.
Mark Zuckerberg has publicly stated that A.I is a good thing, and that those who feel otherwise are just drumming up a sort of doomsday scenario for the sake of being naysayers. Facebook plans to heavily rely on A.I in the future, and Tesla already does. Zuckerberg believes that A.I has already done a world of good and that it is the answer to many of humanityâ€™s quality-of-life problems. His statement comes as a response to Elon Muskâ€™s long-time stance of warning about the potential perils of A.I. Musk responded to such an interview saying that Zuckerbergâ€™s â€œunderstanding of the subject is limitedâ€.
With the feud in the public eye, many of us are left wondering one thing: who is right about A.I?
Unfortunately, for the majority of questions that the future of A.I creates, the answer is currently unknown. But the best and brightest in our world arenâ€™t stopped from pondering about it. One expert, Fei-Fei Li, a chief scientist of Google Cloud, believes (like Zuckerberg) that A.I will be used as a tool for good, for making life better. Another scientist, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon, agrees, believing that A.Iâ€™s risks are over-hyped and the benefits under-appreciated.
However, the most level-headed opinions come from Musk himself. In his older interviews, Musk praises the value of A.I but heeds government regulation to ensure that A.I usage doesnâ€™t get out of control or fall into the wrong hands. With this and the promise to use A.I responsibly, many can agree. One of those in agreement with Musk is Matt Kodama, an executive at Recorded Future.
Kodama believes that it is a tool, and what matters is the people in charge of that tool. If the intentions are just and ethical, the results we see will be positive. The importance, then, lies not on the technology itself, but ensuring that its usage is directed at good.
For this to happen, the tops of every related field: tech giants, professors, lawmakers, students, etc, need to act in cohesion with a like minded goal.
Which we all know is easier said than done. So I feel that Muskâ€™s word of caution is certainly warranted and the correct stance to have as we move into the future. The more we rely on A.I, the more powerful it becomes.
We need to ensure that we remain at the driverâ€™s seat constantly. As all experiments have shown a certain in-built aggression to archive goals rather than a softer human perspective.