Jack Ma believes that artificial intelligence does not pose a threat to humanity, but Elon Musk called those "famous last words" while billionaire technology magnates faced each other in a sometimes animated debate on futurism in Shanghai.
The Chinese co-founder of Alibaba is the undisputed industrial company behind Tesla and SpaceX painful expressions often drawn and raised eyebrows as they initiated an artificial intelligence conference with a dialogue that challenged the participants to keep up, moving from technology to Mars, death and work.
However, the hot topic of the speech at an hour was the IA, which has raised growing concern among scientists like the late British cosmologist Stephen Hawking who warned that it will eventually light up and "annihilate" l & # 39; humanity.
"Computers can be smart, but humans are much smarter," Ma said. "We invented the computer: I've never seen a computer invent a human being."
While insisting that "he is not a tech guy," added the e-commerce tycoon, "I think AI can help us better understand humans. I don't think it's a threat."
Musk replied: "I don't know, man, here are the last famous words".
He said the "rate of computer advancement in general is insane", outlining a vision in which superfast and artificially intelligent devices eventually tire of dealing with stupid and slow human beings.
"The computer will become impatient if nothing else. It will be like talking to a tree, "said Musk.
The hope of humanity lies in "taking a ride for the ride" exploiting some of that computing power, he said, while offering an undistorted plug for his Neuralink Corporation.
Neuralink aims to develop implantable brain-machine interface devices that evoke images of The matrix, whose characters download software into their brain that immediately turns them into martial arts masters.
"Right now we are already a cyborg because we are so well integrated with our phones and computers," said Musk, 48. "The phone is like an extension of yourself. If you forget your phone, it's like a missing limb."
But humanity will also have more free time in the future since IA will take over much of the burden of transportation, food and thought for the earthlings, Ma said.
"People could only work three days a week, four hours a day with the help of advances in technology," he said.
But, 54, who will resign next month as head of the Alibaba Group, has questioned Musk's drive to develop spacecraft that could help us colonize Mars. "We need a hero like you, but we need more heroes like us who make things better on earth," said Ma.
Musk replied that we must master interplanetary travel in the event that the earth becomes uninhabitable. Scientists like Hawking have said the same, citing the risk of a nuclear war, a devastating virus, global warming or an asteroid collision.
But don't worry: both agree that human mortality is a good thing as each generation brings new ideas to the global challenges we face.
"It's nice to die," said Ma, with the addition of Musk, "Probably true."
Originally published as Extremely embarrassing billionaire debate