Elon Musk: Mark Zuckerberg’s understanding of AI is “limited”

Bill Pugliano & Justin Sullivan, Getty Images


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There aren’t many people in the world who can justifiably call Mark Zuckerberg a dumb-ass, but Elon Musk is probably one of them.

Early on Tuesday morning, in the latest salvo of a tussle between the two tech billionaires over the dangers of advanced artificial intelligence, Musk said that Zuckerberg’s “understanding of the subject is limited.”

I won’t rehash the entire argument here, but basically Elon Musk has been warning society for the last few years that we need to be careful of advanced artificial intelligence. Musk is concerned that humans will either become second-class citizens under super-smart AIs, or alternatively that we’ll face a Skynet-like scenario against a robot uprising.

Zuckerberg, on the other hand, is weary of fear-mongering around futuristic technology. “I have pretty strong opinions on this. I am optimistic,” Zuckerberg said during a Facebook Live broadcast on Sunday. “And I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios… I just don’t understand it. It’s really negative and in some ways I think it is pretty irresponsible.”

Then, responding to Zuckerberg’s “pretty irresponsible” remark, Musk said on Twitter: “I’ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.”

It’s a little unfair to call Zuckerberg’s understanding “limited”—Facebook has arguably put a lot more time, money, and research into AI than Musk’s companies. I suspect the real bone of contention between the two nerds has more to do with time scales: Zuckerberg’s stance on AI is that it will massively improve the human condition (and probably Facebook ad revenues) in the short term, but Musk is more concerned with what happens further down the line, when it’s too late to put the sentient robot cat back in the bag.

In reality, a balanced approach that takes a little from column M and a pinch from column Z, is probably the best way forward. There is already too much momentum in the twinned domains of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence for Musk’s concerns to be taken too seriously—but that doesn’t mean we have to blindly accelerate into a future powered by initially helpful Zuckbots.

Now read about how the artificial intelligence Singularity isn’t just around the corner

This post originated on Ars Technica UK

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Quadcopter Inspects B-52 on USAF Taxiway

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An unusual aircraft went through its motions on the Edwards Air Force Base flightline March 16 when a small quadcopter equipped with a camera took to the sky to perform a visual inspection of a B-52 Stratofortress.

This was the first-ever test using a small unmanned aerial system near an active taxiway on an Air Force flightline.

As aircraft taxied by on their way to launch or recovery, and others flew overhead, the tiny quadcopter flew a pattern around the B-52 under the direction of the Emerging Technologies Combined Test Force.

This inspection was the second in a series of tests to examine the feasibility of using small unmanned aerial systems to perform visual pre- and post-flight inspections of large aircraft. The first was done on a C-17 Globemaster III parked on an out-of-the-way ramp during training day.

Major Will Niblack, the ET-CTF operations officer and sUAS pilot, said there were some added challenges to this second test with the B-52.

“Two significant differences were conducting the aircraft inspection near a main operating taxiway – successfully avoiding being a conflict to other aircraft – and completing this capability (demonstration) while actual exterior maintenance was being done on the aircraft. We avoided being a hindrance to their maintenance operation,” Niblack said.

Edwards2

One of those maintainers, James Rebel, a B-52 crew chief with the 912th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, was working on his aircraft as the sUAS was doing its tests. He said he thought it was a pretty cool concept.

“It only takes about an hour for us to get harnessed up and do an inspection,” Rebel said. “So this may not save us much time yet. But once they get it fine-tuned, I can see its usefulness.” He said it would be especially useful on higher areas, such as the tail, on B-52s and C-17s.

Niblack said this second test was very successful, and the 412th Maintenance group has shown continued interest in developing this capability for future maintenance support.

“We plan to continue working with the (Maintenance Group) to stand up this capability in their respective units,” he said.

He also said the ET CTF is working on future capability demonstrations with the 412th Civil Engineer Group to perform building and roof inspections.

Photos: U.S. Air Force photos by Christian Turner

Source: US Air Force