Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are publicly debating the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Gloomy Gus Elon thinks robots are evil and are going to pull a Dave and kill us all. Pollyanna Mark thinks that robots are our friends and can help us, like Rosie on The Jetsons.
These opposing views of the future of robotics and AI have been fodder for science fiction and dweeb debates since Fritz Lang’s Maschinenmensch Maria gave us all heavy metal boners back in the 1920’s. The Guardian reports:
The groundwork for the world’s nerdiest fight was laid by Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, earlier this month, when he pushed again for the proactive regulation of artificial intelligence because he believes it poses a “fundamental risk to the existence of civilization”.
Elon is dead serious about this. For Elon, The Singularity isn’t just what you drunkenly slur to the DJ at the club when you want to get down to All The Single Ladies. According to Elon, unregulated AI could really kill us all. As stated in The Guardian, Elon said:
“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.”
Damn, son! What kind of Skynet Galactica nightmares do you be having? I think it’s hard for normal people like myself who have seen a lot of killer robutt movies to take this seriously but according to Elon it’s a real and imminent threat.
Mark, on the other hand, gladly welcomes our robot overlords. During a recent Facebook live presentation, Mark answered Elon’s warnings. According to the Guardian, Mark said:
“I have pretty strong opinions on this. I am optimistic. And 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.”
Mark is a big proponent of the possible benefits of AI, especially in the areas of self-driving cars and medical diagnosis. I wonder if Mark has also considered of some other more, shall we say, Westworld-ian applications. I mean, Rosie was pretty fucking hot with her little French Maid’s outfit and feather duster. Whoa, somebody better slide some oil to meh!
Elon is still not having any of it and #tooktotwitter (I’m only going to stop if you tell me to stop and maybe not even then) with this response.
I've talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 25, 2017
Oh, snap! That’s a real shady “stay in your lane, kid.” Like I said before, the way AI has been portrayed in popular culture has really got me twisted. One the one hand, I’m not that really that impressed with human intelligence these days and I’d like to give the androids a shot and see what they got for us. But on the other hand, I don’t want to live to see the day a robot can sit at a computer (or I guess it will already be a computer, so it would what? Sit and just think things into existence?) and write 500 words about North West’s synthetic body’s line of beauty products made from human skin. That is a person job and I’m not going to let some infernal robot replace me.