Reacting to a CNBC report that cited research community and CEOs as saying that Musk’s confidence is misplaced as far as AI is concerned, Jerome Pesenti who is Head of AI at Facebook said Musk is distracting people from real issues.
“I believe a lot of people in the AI community would be ok saying it publicly. @elonmusk has no idea what he is talking about when he talks about AI. There is no such thing as AGI and we are nowhere near matching human intelligence,” tweeted Pesenti.
“My point is that AGI is a meaningless concept, don’t even talk about it. There are a lot of risks related to AI, he talks about the wrong ones (machines taking over) distracting us from the real issues (eg fairness),” Pesenti continued.
Musk has been speaking frequently on AI and has called its progress the “biggest risk we face as a civilization”, saying that if not regulated or controlled soon, AI could become an “immortal dictator” and there will be no escape for humans.
Pesanti said that lots of people are talking about fairness and AI.
“There is even a conference for it https://facctconference.org. It hasn’t reached broader awareness because it’s just drowned out by all the AGI/singularity nonsense,” he said on Wednesday.
Multiple AI researchers from different companies told CNBC that they see Musk’s AI comments as inappropriate.
“A large proportion of the community think he’s a negative distraction,” an AI executive with close ties to the community was quoted as saying.
Another AI scientist said Musk is “not always looked upon favourably” by the AI research community.
In a documentary on AI, Musk said recently: “At least when there’s an evil dictator, that human is going to die. But for an AI there would be no death. It would live forever, and then you’d have an immortal dictator, from which we could never escape”.
“If AI has a goal and humanity just happens to be in the way, it will destroy humanity as a matter of course without even thinking about it. No hard feelings,” Musk told Chris Paine, the director of the new documentary, titled “Do You Trust This Computer?”
Musk has always been a critic of AI and asked for stiff regulations to curb the technology.
In a tweet, Musk said that people should be more concerned with AI than the risk posed by North Korea.
“If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea,” Musk had tweeted.
Musk has also quit the board of OpenAI, a non-profit AI research company he co-founded that aims to promote and develop friendly AI that benefits the humanity.
In a public spat with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who is a big advocate for the AI technology, Musk said: “I’ve talked to Mark about this (AI). His understanding of the subject is limited”.
Zuckerberg replied: “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”.
In February this year, Musk said he has now hired AI as a subordinate that “reports directly” to him daily.
“Join AI at Tesla! It reports directly to me & we meet/email/text almost every day. My actions, not just words, show how critically I view (benign) AI,” tweeted the Tesla CEO.
For him, AI can only do ‘benign’ tasks and those jobs too are being evaluated critically by him.
During a recent presentation about his company Neuralink’s brain-machine interface technology, Musk said: “Even in a benign AI scenario, we will be left behind.
“Hopefully, it is a benign scenario. But I think with a high-bandwidth brain-machine interface we can actually go along for the ride. And we can effectively have the option of merging with AI,” Musk told the gathering.