Former Google boss Eric Schmidt has some strong beliefs about A.I.—and some equally strong ones about Elon Musk’s fear of A.I. The Tesla and Space X boss has made it clear he is freaked out by the rise of supercomputing, which he has said is “vastly more risky” than North Korea. At the VivaTech conference in Paris today, Schmidt was asked about A.I. and Musk and Schmidt was blunt: “I think Elon is exactly wrong.”
“He is wrong because he doesn’t understand the benefits that this tech will provide to making every human smarter,” Schmidt said on stage. “A.I. is fundamentally good for humanity. It makes every citizen smarter from the best educated to the least, it allows you to live longer from with less pain and less disease, it allows you to make economic and social systems more fluid. Over-and-over again, making people smarter is a net good. He is concerned about the possible misuse of this technology, and I am too, but the overwhelming benefit of this is positive. You would not invent the telephone because of the possible misuse by evil people? No, you would try and police the use of the telephone.”
This is not the first time that Schmidt has pushed back on people’s fears about A.I. and the inevitable rise of the machines. Google DeepMind researchers may disagree with their former boss, though. The AI research group suggested that bots may eventually learn to interfere with humans and suggested creating a “big red button” to turn off AI and prevent them from fighting back. So, while Musk may be “exactly wrong” about many things (particularly this week) despite what Schmidt says, even Google thinks he may not be “exactly wrong” about A.I.
— #VivaTech (@VivaTech) May 25, 2018
[H/T The Drum]