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Bill Gates and Elon Musk disagree about AI’s dangers

After Zuckerberg, Gates. Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s crusade to warn the world about the risks and dangers of Artificial Intelligence is not going down particularly well with his fellow techies.

In the past Musk had engaged in —rather public— spats with Facebook’s CEO over the hazards posed by robots and AI.

Now, Musk’s campaign is being slightly dismissed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

In an interview in The Wall Street Journal, Gates said that he and SpaceX CEO Musk do not see eye to eye about AI’s potential to harm humankind. While Musk has repeatedly underlined that strong AI could run amok before killing us off, or reducing us to the status of slaves or pets,  Gates appears to be much more relaxed on the matter.

“The so-called control problem that Elon is worried about isn’t something that people should feel is imminent,” he said in the interview . “This is a case where Elon and I disagree. We shouldn’t panic about it. Nor should we blithely ignore the fact that eventually that problem could emerge.”

That marks a slight departure from Gates’ stance on the subject just a couple of years ago. In an “Ask me anything” thread on Reddit back in 2015,  Gates had written: “I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.”

Looks like Gates changed his mind, or maybe he has just been put off by Musk’s endless anti-AI jeremiads.

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