Which side of the A.I. debate are you on: Musk or Zuckerberg?

Two tech titans can't agree on the one thing that could come to define our times: A.I. What do they have to say on the matter?


Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and SpaceX/Tesla's Elon Musk have a few things in common. They're both Bay Area billionaires, incredibly smart, and, statistically, will have made more money in the time it took you to read this sentence than you will make in a month. 

But while that may be true, they both disagree on one big thing: the future of artificial intelligence

Mark Zuckerberg


Mark Zuckerberg. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Mark Zuckerberg is a major proponent of AI and is certain that it will help to resolve the issues that Facebook now faces. The Facebook founder believes in the power of AI to solve the misbehavior and discrimination that has been prolific on the platform. While AI hasn’t evolved enough to help the company prevent censorship and propaganda, Zuckerberg mentioned it over and over in his hearing in front of Congress.

Zuckerberg believes that the future of the billion-plus user platform lies in virtual reality and advanced artificial intelligence. Facebook’s goal is to integrate the technology to learn what users want, and to prevent some of the negative behavior that has been so widespread.

 

Currently, Facebook uses AI in a more simple form than what Mark Zuckerberg envisions. AI helps to recognize you and your friends’ faces when tagging photos. Additionally, if you’re a business that advertises on the platform, AI and the Facebook algorithms decides where the ads will place on the viewer’s news feed. The current version of AI can also assess the possibility of a user committing suicide—but Facebook hasn’t said what they do with that information.

Zuckerberg believes in deeply-integrated artificial intelligence to help to fight terrorist propaganda. Facebook’s current AI helps to spot spammers, remove fake accounts, and reduce political and digital fraud. The Drudge Report has covered AI in-depth, as well as Facebook’s moves to increase their user surveillance.

The short of it is this: Mark Zuckerberg believes heavily in artificial intelligence, putting his faith and money behind the thought that the technology will save us from ourselves.

Elon Musk


Elon Musk. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Elon Musk is very, very wary of artificial intelligence. Having been quoted as “frightened” of what it is capable of doing, he has put his money where his thoughts are: preventing AI from taking over.

Musk believes that AI will go rogue, turn on humanity, and be the ultimate death of life as we know it. Musk has invested heavily in the space program (through his groundbreaking SpaceX organization) and has said that interplanetary colonization will save us from the threat that we have created for ourselves. He believes that we will need a place to go—Mars—when A.I. eventually takes over.

With A.I.’s ability to learn human speech patterns (think of Siri or Google’s Cortana), and adaptability to human wants and needs, as well as their living habits (think Alexa or the Google Home), Elon Musk is firm in his conviction that A.I. will only bring destruction. He sees A.I. as evil, and that the developments that A.I. has undergone will only hurt humanity, not progress it. What Musk does believe in, however, is the melding of biology and machines. He has been a noted proponent of merging the human body with technology, hardwiring your brain to interface directly with computers and digital devices. Your brain will have the computing power of the cloud to back it up.

In the end, it will come down to the American consumer; what do you believe in? Do you want the progression of artificial intelligence and the advancements of computer learning? Or do you believe in Elon Musk’s vision of human-computers, bypassing the need for artificial intelligence completely?

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.


Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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