There are few things better than a billionaire catfight. Usually, they get all bent out of shape over the size of each other’s yachts — but sometimes, the topic is a little more nuanced and important. Elon Musk doesn’t particularly care for Bill Gates. He’s made that clear in the high-profile spats they’ve engaged in over the years. Musk just gave the Microsoft founder another digital slap —implying Gates has a lack of intelligence when it comes to the topic of artificial intelligence.
Gates wrote a seven-page essay and published it on his website a week ago on why A.I. is so revolutionary. It’s called “The age of A.I. has begun.” Gates gushed over how it will transform health care and education. He implied there are inherent dangers, but it was a glowing review of the new technology’s capabilities.
“Not so fast, Billy Boy” is essentially what Musk implied. Here is what he actually wrote in the tweet.
“I remember the early meetings with Gates. His understanding of A.I. was limited. Still is.”
That is so concise, biting, and funny all at once.
The two tech behemoths have a lot in common other than being very wealthy. Gates said in his essay that he has been in communication with ChatGPT creator OpenAI for the past seven years. And let’s not forget that Musk goes back even further with OpenAI — 2015. He was an original investor in the biz, which could explain his early discussions with Gates. But Musk bolted in 2018 because of conflicts of interest regarding Tesla’s A.I. ambitions.
If you read between the lines, Musk doesn’t trust Gates. In the essay Gates posted, he was pretty nonchalant regarding the potential danger of A.I. He wrote, “the world needs to establish the rules of the road so that any downsides of artificial intelligence are far outweighed by its benefits, and so that everyone can enjoy those benefits no matter where they live or how much money they have.”
Musk is more of a realist — and believes that if in the wrong hands, A.I. can potentially end life as we know it. He’s said on record that it “scares the hell” of him.
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