Geek fight! Musk says Zuckerberg naive about killer robots

By David Ingram

SAN FRANCISCO, July 25 (Reuters) – Silicon Valley baron Elon
Musk insulted rival billionaire Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday,
escalating a tech wizard war of words over whether robots will
become smart enough to kill their human creators.

“His understanding of the subject is limited,” Musk said in
a tweet about the Facebook Inc founder whose algorithms
and other technology revolutionized social media and won 2
billion monthly active users.

Previously, Zuckerberg was asked about Musk’s views on the
dangers of robots. In his response, Zuckerberg chided
“naysayers” whose “doomsday scenarios” were “irresponsible.”

Zuckerberg and Musk, who is chief executive of electric car
maker Tesla Inc and rocket company SpaceX, have been
waging a debate at a distance over the past few days on the
dangers of artificial intelligence.

The two sharply disagree on whether tougher government
regulation is needed for the technology.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for
comment on the tweet, which Musk sent at 3:07 a.m. California
time (1007 GMT) from his verified account, @elonmusk.

The term artificial intelligence, or AI, is used to describe
machines with computer code that learns as it goes. The
technology is becoming widely used in sectors such as
healthcare, entertainment and banking.

Fear that machines could become so intelligent that they
might rise up and overthrow humanity is a common theme in
science fiction.

Musk told a gathering of U.S. governors this month that the
potential dangers are not so imaginary, and that they should
move to regulate AI.

“I keep sounding the alarm bell, but until people see robots
going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to
react, because it seems so ethereal,” Musk said, according to a
video of the event.

“AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human
civilization,” he added.

On Sunday, Zuckerberg was streaming video live on Facebook
while grilling brisket at home and answering viewers’ questions
when someone asked him to weigh in on Musk’s comments.

“I’m really optimistic,” Zuckerberg countered, “and I think
that people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday
scenarios, I don’t understand it.

“It’s really negative, and in some ways I actually think
it’s pretty irresponsible.”

Zuckerberg said AI could result in better diagnoses of
diseases and the elimination of car wrecks, and he said he did
not see how “in good conscience” people could want to slow down
the development of AI through regulation.
(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by David Gregorio)

Read the original article on Reuters. Copyright 2017. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

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