While casually smoking some meat in his backyard Sunday afternoon, Facebook (fb) CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted a live broadcast, taking questions from viewers while waiting for his dinner to reach the perfect temperature. During the hour-plus-long stream, Zuckerberg offered up a scorching criticism of another tech magnate, Tesla (tsla) CEO Elon Musk, over his views on the potential pitfalls of artificial intelligence.
Musk, the Silicon Valley billionaire who is also the co-founder and CEO of SpaceX, has been one of tech's most vocal AI sceptics. Just this month, he called AI "the greatest risk we face as a civilization," and called for swift government regulation. When a viewer asked Zuckerberg to respond to the remarks, he took a starkly contrarian position.
"I have pretty strong opinions on this. I am optimistic," Zuckerberg said, as reported by CNBC. "I think you can build things and the world gets better. But with AI especially, I am really optimistic."
He continued: "I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just, I don't understand it. It's really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible."
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The Facebook CEO went on to list ways he believed AI would improve — and is already improving — human lives in different aspects, but he did offer a word of caution.
"Technology can generally always be used for good and bad, and you need to be careful about how you build it," he said. "And you need to be careful about what you build and how it is going to be used."