Mark Zuckerberg accuses AI competitors of attempting to ‘create God’

adDkCFoKHrotxyYr7TAQeV-1200-80 Mark Zuckerberg accuses AI competitors of attempting to 'create God'

When artificial general intelligence (AGI) eventually arrives, will it be our servant? Our master? Or something else altogether, maybe even something supernatural? As a routine precaution, I for one welcome whatever form our new AI creations take. But Meta maestro Mark Zuckerberg reckons his competition in the AI industry are actually suffering from what you might call a God delusion.

Speaking to YouTube channel Kallaway (via Tech Crunch), El Zuck took aim at what he sees as the competition’s overly messianic approach to AI development.

“I find it a pretty big turnoff when people in the tech industry talk about building this ‘one true AI,’. It’s almost as if they think they’re creating God or something. That’s not what we’re doing, I don’t think that’s how this plays out,” Zuckerberg said.

He also criticised what he saw as a monopolistic approach to AI development. “Some people are saying that there’s going to be the one true big AI that can do everything and I just don’t think that that’s the way that things tend to go. I get why if you’re in some AI lab you want to feel like what you’re doing is super important, like ‘we’re building the one true thing for the future’.”

“But I just think realistically that’s not that’s not how stuff works. It’s not like there was one app on people’s phones that people use. There’s not one creator that people want all their content from, there’s not one app that people want all their content from, there’s not one business that people want to buy everything from.”

He has a point, although he makes it without any sense of irony. After all, Meta gives every bit the impression of wanting to own absolutely as much of our digital lives as humanly possible.

Facebook started off as an online directory for college students to check out how hot their classmates were. Now it wants in on all your social activities, on everything you sell, the messages you send, who you date, the works. If Zuckerberg’s Metaverse isn’t his attempt to make Meta the universal app for pretty much everything, I’m not sure what it is.

Indeed, the cynical might suggest that what’s really driving Zuckerberg’s comments is his fear that Meta is increasingly being marginalised in the AI space. Apple recently chose to go with OpenAI for its AI technology on iPhone, iPad and Mac, for instance, which threatens to make Meta’s products less relevant to a very, very large customer base.

Much of the rest of the interview covered Zuckerberg’s vision of the future, which largely involves smartglasses gradually replacing smartphones. Zuckerberg doesn’t see that happening immediately, he still thinks we’ll have phones in our pockets in 10 years. It’s just we’ll be reaching for them a lot less often.

Add in head-up displays and wristbands that intercept signals from the brain, allowing users to do things like type with little to no actual hand movement, and you get an idea of the future according to The Zuck. It’s a bit creepy.

Whatever, it’s a broad ranging interview and you don’t need to be a fan of Zuckerberg or really even think much of what he says makes sense to find it interesting. For better or worse, he’s unarguably an extremely influential figure with an dominant position in social media and the ability to spend billions of dollars pushing technology and how we use it in whatever direction he fancies.

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