Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: AI "Naysayers" Like Elon Musk Are Being "Really Negative," "Pretty Irresponsible"


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent more than an hour broadcasting live from a backyard BBQ at his Palo Alto, California home on Sunday afternoon.

While smoking a brisket, the 'Facebook' inventer took questions from the public about health care policy ("we don't spend enough money on finding new cures for diseases"), providing free internet access for Africa ("we have a lot more work to do"), and artificial intelligence ("AI is going to deliver so many improvements in the quality of our lives").

Such interactions with the public can be seen as campaign practice in light of rumors that Zuckerberg might run for president in 2020. A less than scientific poll by PPP suggested that Zuckerberg and President Trump would be tied at 40% if the election were today. You can watch Zuckerberg's full comments below:

The Facebook founder answered this question from a viewer about the threat from AI: "I watched a recent interview with Elon Musk and his largest fear for future was AI. What are your thoughts on AI and how it could affect the world?"

Musk spoke to a meeting of the National Board of Governors last week about his concerns that advances in artificial intelligence will outpace government efforts to regulate it.

"AI is a fundamental existential risk for human civilization, and I don't think people fully appreciate that," Musk warned. "Until people see, like, robots going down the street killing people, they don't know how to react, because it seems so ethereal. And, I think we should all be really concerned about AI."

Zuckerberg answered that he disagreed with Musk, saying: "I have pretty strong opinions on this -- I am really optimistic... I think you can build things and the world gets better."

"With AI especially, I am really optimistic," he continued. "I think that people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just, I don't understand it. I think it's really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible. Because in the next five to 10 years, AI is going to deliver so many improvements in the quality of our lives."

"If you think about just safety, health, keeping people safe. AI is already helping us disgnose dieases beter, match up drugs to people... If you look at self-driving cars. They are going to be safer than people driving cars... one of the top causes of death for people is car accidents, still. If you can eliminate that, it is going to be a dramatic improvement in peoples' lives."

"Technology in general can be used for good or bad," Zuckerberg also said. "And you need to be careful about how you build it. You need to be careful about what you build and how it is going to be used, but arguing for slowing down the process of building an AI? I just find that really questionable... If you're arguing against AI, you're arguing against safer cars that aren't going to have accidents."

Musk responded on Twitter, saying: "I've talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited."

(Hat tip: Axios)

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