High-profile members of the artificial intelligence (AI) community are concerned about President Donald Trump’s relationship with Tesla billionaire Elon Musk.
In addition to serving on Trump’s economic advisory team, Musk was recently named to Trump’s “Manufacturing Jobs Initiative,” a forum of notable businesses executives that will “be called upon to meet with the president frequently to share their specific experience and knowledge.”
Yann LeCun, Facebook’s head of AI, urged Musk to stop advising Trump on Sunday.
“You are an advisor to Trump. Quit. If you stay, fight and know that this will hurt your legacy regardless,” said LeCun.
LeCun’s comment on Twitter came after Musk tweeted that he would take industry concerns about immigration to Trump’s business advisory council, where he serves.
Google DeepMind scientist and Oxford University professor Nando de Freitas praised LeCun for asking Musk to quit his role, before going on to question whether Musk is helping Trump on matters relating to AI.
“The real danger of AI is @elonmusk helping Trump with it,” said de Freitas on Twitter. He also asked whether employees at OpenAI, Musk’s AI research firm, were comfortable with their leader working with Trump.
Although Musk is an advisor to Trump, he has been quick to condemn the president’s immigration ban that was enforced on Friday.
” The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country’s challenges,” said Musk on Twitter.
The executive order on immigration bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for at least 90 days, and there is ongoing confusion as to whether that includes dual-nationality citzens too.
Andrew Ng, chief scientist of Chinese tech giant Baidu, said that NIPS, one of the world’s most most prominent AI conferences, should no longer be held in the US if the Muslim ban remains in place. A petition has been launched to change the conference location and over 300 people have signed it.
Well said @ylecun ! The real danger of AI is @elonmusk helping Trump with it. How do folks at @OpenAI feel about being close with Trump? https://t.co/EY2ShaKSZ5
— Nando de Freitas (@NandoDF) January 29, 2017
To all Researchers: If US Muslim ban remains, lets move our conferences elsewhere. Science must be open to all.
— Andrew Ng (@AndrewYNg) January 29, 2017