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Ex-Google Chief: Elon Musk ‘exactly wrong’ on AI

Musk has always been a critic of AI and asked for stiff regulations to curb the technology

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Elon Musk
Elon Musk. IANS
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Tesla and SpaceX Founder Elon Musk’s skepticism about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on human beings is “exactly wrong,” former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said.

Musk thinks that AI is bad for humanity and may spark World War III.

“I think Elon is exactly wrong” about AI, Schmidt said during the “VivaTech” conference in Paris on Friday.

“Musk is concerned about the possible misuse of this technology and I am too but I am more convinced by the overwhelming benefit of AI,” tech website CNET quoted Schmidt as saying.

“AI will make people smarter and this will be a net gain,” said Schmidt who is currently a board member of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Earlier, during the same event, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg – who has been in verbal spat with Musk over AI for long — expressed optimism about the possibilities of AI.

Representational image (AI)
Representational image (AI). Pixabay

“I think that AI is going to unlock a huge amount of positive things, whether that’s helping to identify and cure diseases, to help cars drive more safely, to help keep our communities safe,” he was quoted as saying.

Mush recently warned that if not regulated or controlled soon, AI will become an “immortal dictator” and there will be no escape for humans.

“At least when there’s an evil dictator, that human is going to die. But for an AI there would be no death. It would live forever, and then you’d have an immortal dictator, from which we could never escape,” he said in a new documentary titled “Do You Trust This Computer?”

Musk has always been a critic of AI and asked for stiff regulations to curb the technology.

In a recent tweet, Musk said that people should be more concerned with AI than the risk posed by North Korea.

“If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea,” Musk tweeted.

Also Read: Elon Musk Unveils Plan to put Humans on Mars by 2024

Musk has also quit the board of OpenAI, a non-profit AI research company he co-founded that aims to promote and develop friendly AI that benefits the humanity.

In a recent public spat with Zuckerberg, Musk said: “I’ve talked to Mark about this (AI). His understanding of the subject is limited”.

Zuckerberg replied: “I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just, I don’t understand it. It’s really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible.” (IANS)

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Slow Disclosure of Tesla Raising Governance, Social Media Concerns

In his blog, Musk said he made the announcement on Twitter to ensure all investors were aware of his plan before speaking with the company's largest shareholders

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Tesla CEO
FILE - Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., talks during a news conference at the company's headquarters in Fremont, California, Sept. 29, 2015. (VOA)

Tesla’s handling of Chief Executive Elon Musk’s proposal to take the carmaker private and its failure to promptly file a formal disclosure has raised governance concerns and sparked questions about how companies use social media.

Musk stunned investors last Tuesday by announcing on Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private in a potential $72 billion transaction and that “funding” had been “secured.”

Tesla’s shares closed up 11 percent before retrenching after the Wall Street Journalreported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had asked Tesla why Musk announced his plans on Twitter and whether his statement was truthful.

Musk provided no details of his funding until Monday, when he said in a blog on Tesla’s website that he was in discussions with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and other potential backers but that financing was not yet nailed down.

Musk said his tweet and blogs were issued in his personal capacity as a private bidder for Tesla’s stock. A Tesla spokesman pointed Reuters to Musk’s blog in response to a request for comment.

Putting aside whether Musk misled anyone, the unorthodox manner in which he announced the news and Tesla’s failure to promptly clarify the situation with a regulatory filing is a corporate governance lapse that raises questions about how companies use social media to release market-moving news, securities lawyers said.

Tesla CEO
Tesla CEO and founder of the Boring Company Elon Musk speaks at a news conference in Chicago, June 14, 2018. (VOA)

“Management buyouts or other take-private transactions already suffer from serious information asymmetry between management and public shareholders,” said Gabriel Rauterberg, a University of Michigan law professor.

SEC rules typically require companies to file an 8-K form within four business days of a significant corporate event.

While several securities lawyers said Musk’s tweets alone did not trigger this obligation, such a filing would be prudent given the unusual circumstances, David Axelrod, a partner at law firm Ballard Spahr LLP, said.

“An 8-K would provide some more details, it would say what stage negotiations are in, and provide more information than 53 characters in a tweet,” he added.

Full and fair disclosure

SEC guidelines published in 2013 allow companies and their executives to use social media to distribute material information, provided investors have been alerted that this is a possibility. Tesla did this in a 2013 filing.

But such disclosures have to be full and fair, meaning the information is complete and accessible by all investors at the same time, a bar that Musk’s tweets may not have met.

“Twitter is not designed to provide full and fair disclosure. That doesn’t mean that you couldn’t, but in a series of 20 to 30 characters I’m not sure you’re getting full disclosure,” said Zachary Fallon, a former SEC attorney and principal at law firm Blakemore Fallon.

 

Elon Musk
Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX. (VOA)

The SEC declined to comment Monday.

Securities lawyers said there was also a question mark over whether Musk selectively disclosed information on the possible terms of the deal when he subsequently replied to followers, two of whom claim in their handles to be investors.

Those tweets were not immediately visible to all followers of Musk’s main feed until he retweeted them.

History of Twitter use

The 47-year-old billionaire’s history of joking about Tesla and using twitter to bait his critics also appears to have undermined trust in Musk’s feed as a reliable source of company information, with many investors initially believing Tuesday’s tweet was a prank.

You May Also Like to Read About- The Japanese Bombings And American Falsification

In his blog, Musk said he made the announcement on Twitter to ensure all investors were aware of his plan before speaking with the company’s largest shareholders.

But his claim to have done so as a private person presents a potential conflict of interest, said Nimish Patel, a lawyer with Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp.

“If you’re speaking on behalf of the company using resources like Twitter and the company website, while at the same time saying you’re a private individual expressing your own personal views, you are being inconsistent and creating confusion for investors. And when there’s confusion, the SEC is likely going to get involved,” he added. (VOA)