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The World Artificial Intelligence Conference kicked off in Shanghai Thursday with a much-anticipated keynote summit between Alibaba founder Jack Ma, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk debating the future of AI.
At the 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, visitors could attend an immerse debate between Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Alibaba founder and Chairman Jack Ma, about AI and its implications to humanity.
Musk and Ma spoke on many topics, including jobs, reform of the education, trips to Mars, and the overall improvement of the humans’ life.
When it comes to artificial intelligence, the two visionaries have some different points with Musk considering it the danger to humanity and Ma believing in people being “street smart” so, according to him, when AI evolves, humanity should be just fine. He said:
“It’s impossible that humans could be controlled by machines. They’re machines that are invented by humans.”
Musk, on the other hand, is afraid that there will come a time when computers will overtake humans’ ability to understand it.
He said that he believes that it’s in humanity’s best interest to secure its multi-planetary opportunities as quickly as possible. As for Ma, he doesn’t plan to go to Mars in the near future but thinks that more important is to preserve the planet we are on. However, he complimented Musk saying:
“We need heroes like you (who want to go to Mars), but we need heroes like us (who will fix Earth).”
Musk agreed that preserving Earth is important and is also an important part of Tesla’s mission. He explained that it will only take a fraction of the world’s GDP to make humans multi-planetary, comparable or even less than what people spend on something like makeup annually.
“Spending resources on making life multi-planetary would be enough with just 1% of the earth’s GDP.”
When it comes to employment, Ma asked why do we need that many jobs anyway. He said that even though people are constantly afraid that tech will take jobs away from them, jobs have increased. He said that with the help of AI people could come to 3 working days per week, and the average workday of only 4 hours. This, as per him, would enable people to enjoy life more, and live longer.
Musk admitted this is now the problem that there is a constant declining birthrate in the world. He said the world’s biggest issue in 20 years is population collapse and added that this could be a big issue considering that humans generally have a “20-year boot sequence.” Ma agreed, noting even China’s 1.4 billion people, sounds a lot, the country could face a completely different landscape in 20 years.
On the other hand, Musk claimed that the rise of AI will make most jobs pointless because, as the AI evolves, there will come a time when computers will make their own software. According to him, people should study areas such as engineering and fields of study that deal with human relations, as these will still be relevant even in the AI age. He added that this is the reason behind Neuralink and its brain-machine interface, as it will prevent humans from being left behind.
However, to succeed in the future, Ma said humans need not just IQ, but emotional intelligence, and (love) intelligence as well. Musk agreed saying “I agree with him. Love is the answer.”
Speaking on the education, Ma said he’s worried about nowadays educational system that should be more creative and constructive. He said:
“I want to spend more time training kids on painting, singing, dancing, these creative things that make people live like humans.”
The Tesla CEO noted that solutions such as Neuralink’s neural lace could be a difference-maker in the sense it would enable people to upload and quickly learn new skills. He compared it with the movie The Matrix and said its concept is not far from reality.
At the time of writing Tesla (TSLA) stock was up 0,71% to $215.59 while Alibaba (BABA) went up 0.83% to $167.48.