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28 July 2017

Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk?

Image: Bob Al-Greene/Mashable

Guys, did you hear the news? The robots are going to kill us.

At least that appears to be the primary fear of tech mogul Elon Musk regarding artificial intelligence. This week, when fellow tech titan Mark Zuckerberg was hailing the promise of AI in a Facebook Live Q&A, he ended up subtweeting Musk, calling AI naysayers “irresponsible” for playing up “doomsday scenarios.”

Musk fired back on his favorite medium, Twitter, saying Zuck has a “limited understanding” of AI. The resulting headlines made more hay from the tech CEO slap fight than the underlying issue: How much should we be concerned about the growing power of AI, what are the potential dark sides of the tech (Skynet included), and can we do something about them?

To help answer these important questions, Mariya Yao joins the show this week. Yao is the CTO of Topbots, a company that helps other companies build and implement AI solutions to the problems they’re trying to solve — and to do so “wisely.” She’s also the co-author on a forthcoming book about applied AI.

In this week’s MashTalk, Yao, myself, and Mashable Deputy Tech Editor Michael Nuñez try to boil down what it is exactly that scares Musk so much about AI, what a future AI-powered world might look like, and what the real concerns are about the rapidly growing field in the here and now.

Follow Mariya Yao on Twitter.

Follow Pete, Michael, and MashTalk (now with an underscore-free handle!) on Twitter, too!

You can subscribe to or , and we’d appreciate it if you could leave a review. Feel free to hit us with questions and comments by tweeting to @mashtalk or adding the #MashTalk hashtag. We welcome all feedback.

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