'Facebook Sucks': Elon Musk Hits Back at Facebook AI Head Who Claimed Tesla Boss Has 'No Idea' about Artificial Intelligence

Elon Musk had a blunt response for the vice president of artificial intelligence at Facebook after he questioned the SpaceX and Tesla CEO's knowledge on the subject: "Facebook sucks."

Musk hit back after Jerome Pesenti, lead of Facebook's AI division, criticized Musk's warnings about the dangers of artificial general intelligence (AGI), after CNBC ran a story that included claims such statements were sensationalist.

"I believe a lot of people in the AI community would be ok saying it publicly," Pesenti wrote on Twitter. "[Musk] has no idea what he is talking about when he talks about AI. There is no such thing as AGI and we are nowhere near matching human intelligence."

Musk's short clap-back quickly attracted hundreds of likes.

The billionaire technologist has hit media headlines in recent weeks for using his account to voice opinions about COVID-19 lockdowns.

In between updates about rockets and electric cars, he is well-known for controversial or meme-filled social media posts. On Monday, he announced a California Tesla plant would re-open against Alameda County rules, and suggested he could face arrest.

Facebook sucks

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 14, 2020

In the CNBC report this week, based on unnamed sources, some researchers took issue with Musk's numerous claims that computer intelligence is a risk to humanity.

Such a stance was previously described as "pretty irresponsible" by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who said in a live-stream in 2017 he was optimistic about AI.

"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," Zuckerberg said after being asked about Musk's views.

Despite his personal fears about the future use of such tools, Musk has been involved with numerous AI ventures over the years. He has invested in, or been linked to, projects including Neuralink, DeepMind and the U.S. research laboratory OpenAI.

In 2017, Musk told the National Governors Association: "I have exposure to the most cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned by it. AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization in a way that car accidents, airplane crashes, faulty drugs or bad food were not—they were harmful to a set of individuals within society but they were not harmful to society as a whole."

Years earlier, in 2014, Musk warned AI is "potentially more dangerous than nukes." As reported by The Verge at the time, he tweeted: "Hope we're not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable."

Musk's fears appear limited to AI's intelligence potential. Of course, Tesla's own electric vehicles rely on such systems, which are being improved for self-driving capabilities.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition March 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty