- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was interviewed at the 2018 Viva Technology conference in Paris, where he talked about privacy and his thoughts on artificial intelligence.
- Zuckerberg expressed optimism about the possibilities of AI, saying that he agrees with a point that Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently made about negativity and how it hinders progress.
During an interview at the 2018 Viva Technology conference in Paris on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked about his company’s practices and his personal take on the future of AI.
“I think that AI is going to unlock a huge amount of positive things, whether that’s helping to identify and cure diseases, to help cars drive more safely, to help keep our communities safe,” he said.
His comments were in response to a question from the interviewer about his personal thoughts on Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s skepticism towards AI. Musk has repeatedly warned about the dangers of artificial intelligence, recently calling it “far more dangerous than nukes” at SXSW last March.
To be clear, Musk has specified that his worries are pointed towards “general AI,” and not the kind of “functional/narrow AI” you’d find in a car.
Wow, if even Pinker doesn’t understand the difference between functional/narrow AI (eg. car) and general AI, when the latter *literally* has a million times more compute power and an open-ended utility function, humanity is in deep trouble
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 27, 2018
But Zuckerberg expressed a more overarching optimism in response to his views on AI.
Where Zuckerberg and Musk’s beliefs overlap, of course, is in the eventual benefit of self-driving cars, which use AI technology. Zuckerberg said they’re going to help fix a very important humanitarian crisis, if we can get to a point when they’re being made well. He added that he agrees with one point in particular that Musk has been making recently in support of self-driving cars.
“We need to make sure that we don’t get too negative on this stuff,” he said referring to AI technology. “Because it’s too easy for people to point to an individual failure of technology and try to use that as an argument to slow down progress.”
Zuckerberg said he himself has been trying to make this point for a while. He did follow his support for AI up with remarks about the seriousness of AI ethics and clarified that there are bound to be issues along the way, just as there are for any new technology. But he said AI skeptics aren’t helping the cause; if anything, they’re being counter-productive.
“I do think that if you want to be out there, saying that we need to slow down progress on this, then… you need to own some of the responsibility [for] every day that goes by that we don’t have cure for those diseases or safer self-driving cars. I don’t know that that’s necessarily doing the world a service.”