Entrepreneurs

Bill Gates: I do not agree with Elon Musk about A.I. ‘We shouldn’t panic about it’

Bill Gates
Ramin Talaie | Getty Images
Bill Gates

Elon Musk is increasingly out on his own with his doomsday predictions of a future where artificial intelligence threatens human existence.

"This is a case where Elon and I disagree," says Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, speaking with the WSJ Magazine and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

"The so-called control problem that Elon is worried about isn't something that people should feel is imminent," says Gates, according to a transcript of the interview published by the WSJ Magazine Monday. "We shouldn't panic about it."

Over the past few months, Tesla and SpaceX boss Musk has issued repeated, dire threats warning of a very scary future with artificial intelligence.

Musk says the global race for artificial intelligence will cause World War III and that governments will take AI technology "at gunpoint" if necessary. The billionaire tech icon has also says robots will be able to do everything better than humans. And "AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization" and poses "vastly more risk" than North Korea, according to Musk.

As the WSJ Magazine puts it, Musk is warning of a future where humans are the "house cats" of our robot overlords.

Gates is not the only tech thought leader to push back against Musk for his rhetoric.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is optimistic about a future where AI makes human life better. Zuckerberg calls Musk's warnings of AI "pretty irresponsible."

Similarly, John Giannandrea, the senior vice president of engineering at Google in charge of the tech giant's AI efforts has also disapproved of the kind fear mongering Musk has been doing of late.

"I just object to the hype and the sort of sound bites that some people have been making," says Giannandrea, speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt SF last week. "I am definitely not worried about the AI apocalypse."

Nadella, the third CEO of Microsoft whose new book, "Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone," is due out Tuesday, says that it is incumbent upon humans to be responsible for the machine systems they create.

"The core AI principle that guides us at this stage is: How do we bet on humans and enhance their capability? There are still a lot of design decisions that get made, even in a self-learning system, that humans can be accountable for," Nadella says in conversation with Gates for the WSJ Magazine.

"There's a lot I think we can do to shape our own future instead of thinking, this is just going to happen to us. Control is a choice. We should try to keep that control."

See also:

Head of A.I. at Google slams the kind of 'A.I. apocalypse' fear-mongering Elon Musk has been doing

Elon Musk: Governments will obtain AI technology 'at gunpoint' if necessary

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: Elon Musk's doomsday AI predictions are 'pretty irresponsible'

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates think it's 'crazy' to view job-stealing robots as bad