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Facebook Reveal AI Machinations Despite Warnings by Elon Musk

arstechnica.com
Of the numerous people to warn about the risks of continued AI enhancement, Elon Musk has perhaps been the most outspoken. His opinion is certainly one that's worth paying attention to, the Tesla CEO has spearheaded major advancements in motoring and power technology, as well as being partially responsible for PayPal, SpaceX and the 'hyperloop' train system currently in development. Along with scientists like Stephen Hawking, he has warned time and time again that accelerated AI development is, to say the very least, a dangerous game.

Now his views have brought him into direct opposition to those of Mark Zuckerberg. At an event in Delhi last week, Facebook unveiled their plans to pour an unprecedented amount of time and money into AI, even going so far as to claim that they intend to develop something which is smarter and more aware than a human being. We already have a great deal of technology which is capable of processing information faster than the human brain, but nothing which is legitimately more perceptive, or comprehends that information with any kind of legitimate self-awareness.

blog.wsj.com
"We have this goal in five to 10 years, we want to build computer systems, which can be better at main human senses than people are – can see better, recognise people or things in the world, can kind of track as we travel through the world, can hear better, can translate language better, can understand the language, right? All these things are basic human senses," Zuckerberg said.

Last October, whilst commenting on this very issue, Musk referred to the notion of this kind of AI development as akin to "summoning the demon". He hasn't commented directly on Facebook's plans, since the announcement is so recent and he is probably one of the busiest people on the planet, but it wouldn't come as any surprise if he publicly denounced Zuckerberg's intentions some time in the near future. Musk isn't the sort of person who would need to worry about getting on Facebook's bad side, really.

Zuckerberg's plans for AI development seem to center around making their already existent programs more efficient, and beyond the aforementioned risks, this seems like a waste of potential. It's easy to forget sometimes that Facebook's continued, rapid advancements in tech are almost exclusively geared to making the site's online experience better, when at its core, Facebook is still just a distraction, a non-essential social lubricant. AI, used responsibly, can and will change the world, Musk is right to be wary, races to be the first to do something without really knowing why rarely end well.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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Facebook Reveal AI Machinations Despite Warnings by Elon Musk Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, November 02, 2015 Rating: 5

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