- Jerome Pesenti, Facebook’s Head of AI, slammed Elon Musk Wednesday, saying the Tesla CEO “has no idea what he is talking about when he talks about AI.”
- Pesenti was reacting to a CNBC report that quoted anonymous sources in the AI community who cast doubt on Musk’s domain knowledge.
- Musk has repeatedly said AI is on the brink of outsmarting humans and that it could prove more dangerous to mankind than nuclear weapons.
- Musk helped found OpenAI, a research lab that’s raised over $1 billion in funding, and was one of the first investors in DeepMind, an AI lab acquired by Google.
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Facebook’s head of artificial intelligence has doubts about Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s intelligence when it comes to the field of AI. In a tweet Wednesday morning, Facebook AI head Jerome Pesenti said Musk “has no idea what he is talking about when he talks about AI.” Pesenti was reacting to a CNBC story that quoted anonymous AI researchers and CEOs who questioned Musk’s AI credentials.
Musk was an early investor in multiple prominent AI startups, including the $1 billion OpenAI lab and London’s DeepMind, which was later acquired by Google. (Musk left OpenAI’s board in 2018 to avoid conflicts of interest with Tesla, which also has an AI lab.) Musk is also a self-styled AI pundit, regularly saying that the technology will rapidly outsmart humans and could be “more dangerous than nukes.”
“I have exposure to the most cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned by it,” he said in 2017. “AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.” Pesenti echoed the concerns raised in Tuesday’s CNBC story, arguing that there’s no AI system that’s close to achieving “artificial general intelligence,” or intelligence on par with a human mind. Pesenti later said that he wasn’t speaking in an official capacity on behalf of Facebook.
Pesenti isn’t the only Facebook AI employee to publicly criticize Musk. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Musk “irresponsible” in 2017, and Yann LeCun, Facebook’s chief AI scientist, called him “nuts” in 2018 over his remarks on the danger of AI. Edward Grefenstette, a former DeepMind engineer who now works for Facebook, called Musk an “opportunistic moron” after the Tesla CEO tweeted “FREE AMERICA NOW” last month. A Tesla spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.