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Elon Musk escalates row with Zuckerberg over artificial intelligence

The two tech heavyweights have been locked in a public battle over artificial intelligence as their companies attempt to position themselves at the forefront of AI industry.

tech Updated: Jul 25, 2017 22:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Indo Asian News Service, San Franscisco
SpaceX,Elon Musk,Facebook
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk at the Automotive World News Congress in January 2015. (Reuters File Photo)

The ongoing spat between tech honchos Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg escalated on Tuesday, with the Space X and Tesla CEO saying the Facebook creator’s understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) is “limited”.

Zuckerberg had earlier claimed Musk’s warnings of the dangers of AI were “irresponsible” and castigated him for arguing that care and regulation is needed to safeguard the future if AI were to become mainstream.

“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,” Zuckerberg had said.

In response, Musk shot back with a tweet on Tuesday, writing, “I’ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.”

He added that a movie on the subject of AI was “coming soon,” but didn’t provide details about the film or his involvement.

Musk had ignited a global discussion on the dangers of AI back in 2014, when he predicted that machines that are smarter than humans would spell “doom” for mankind. He is involved in a startup called Neuralink that intends to build devices to connect the human brain with computers.

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg considers himself an optimist when it comes to AI. Inspired by Iron Man’s AI assistant Jarvis, the Facebook chief has coded and developed his own artificial assistant which can control his home — including lights, temperature, appliances, music and security — that learned his tastes, and can even entertain his daughter Max.

The system he developed uses several AI techniques, including natural language processing, speech recognition, face recognition and reinforcement learning.

The war of words between Musk and Zuckerberg is not new. The two previously had a verbal duel after a SpaceX rocket carrying a Facebook satellite broke up into fragments during its launch in Florida last year.

(With inputs from IANS)

First Published: Jul 25, 2017 17:46 IST