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Google's Head of AI criticises Elon Musk's 'AI apocalypse soundbites'

John Giannandrea, Google's Head of AI, has taken aim of Tesla founder Elon Musk after the eccentric and influential tech titan said that AI poses "vastl...

Callum Rivett
|Sep 23|magazine4 min read

John Giannandrea, Google's Head of AI, has taken aim of Tesla founder Elon Musk after the eccentric and influential tech titan said that AI poses "vastly more risk than North Korea."

Musk, who also founded SpaceX, tweeted his opinion that governments competing for artificial intelligence superiority will be the "most likely cause" of World War 3.

However, Giannandrea begs to differ: "Computers are incredibly powerful but also pretty dumb."

"I just object to these AI soundbites that people have been making. I am definitely not worried about the AI apocalypse.

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"The idea that someone is going to build a superhuman intelligence that will create ethical issues is unwarranted and irresponsible.

"People who don't understand the technology get very concerned rather than focusing on the positive effects."

"We're building tools that make people more productive, in a very practical and applied process. I'm really excited by it."

Giannandrea did not mention Musk by name, but whilst talking at TechCrunch's Disrupt SF, it was obvious who the AI chief meant when referencing "irresponsible people."

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg also called Musk "irresponsible" for his warnings about any impending AI war, with Musk responding that Zuckerberg had "limited knowledge of the issue."