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Meta AI chief LeCun slams Elon Musk over ‘blatantly false’ predictions, spreading conspiracy theories

Yann LeCun, Meta’s chief AI scientist, has recently criticized Elon Musk for his treatment of scientists and news organizations, as well as for spreading false conspiracies on social media.

“I like his cars (I own a 2015 S and a 2023 S), his rockets, his solar energy systems, and his satellite communication systems,” LeCun wrote about Musk on Sunday in a post on Musk’s social media platform, X. “But I very much disagree with him on a number of issues.”

The feud began days before, on May 27, when Musk took to X to encourage people to apply for positions at his AI startup, xAI. The company, which recently raised $6 billion, faces competition for AI engineers from startups like OpenAI and Anthropic, as well as major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta.

Meta is attempting to distinguish itself in the world of large language models (LLMs), which have driven the recent surge in generative AI product development. While LLMs from xAI, OpenAI, and Google are currently closed and proprietary.

Meta promotes its Llama family of models as open source, which means that other researchers can copy, tweak, or use them for their own AI projects.

In response to Musk’s promotional post, LeCun wrote, “Join xAI if you can stand a boss who makes promises that can’t be met, claims AI will ‘kill everyone’ and spews wild ‘conspiracy theories on his own social platform.'”

They kept at it on Monday, after Dr. Anthony Fauci testified publicly for the first time since leaving the government in 2022. Fauci testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, drawing widespread criticism from Republicans who have long accused him of lying about the origins of Covid-19.

Musk, who previously advocated for Fauci’s prosecution, wrote on X, “Why do Dems love Fauci so much.” He also unfollowed LeCun.

In response to being unfollowed, LeCun commented, “Must have been my tweet in defense of Anthony Fauci.”

He then wrote, “Elon’s call for Fauci to be prosecuted and imprisoned is pretty high up on the scale of anti-science a–holery.”

While Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been feuding for years and even joked about a cage match for months last year, few tech leaders have been willing to publicly criticize Musk or bet against his companies.
Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, has previously shorted Tesla stock. Investor Mark Cuban chastised Musk for his opposition to corporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Dustin Moskovitz, a Meta co-founder, has accused Tesla of consumer fraud.

In posts on X and LinkedIn over the weekend, LeCun expressed his disagreement with Musk’s secrecy in developing new technology and products, as well as the “blatantly false” predictions he shares with the public, as well as his decision to share “dangerous political opinions” and conspiracy theories.

Musk claimed in a post on X Monday that LeCun has been “out of touch with AI for a long time.” LeCun shared a Google Scholar link, indicating that he has published 80 technical papers since January 2022.

On Monday, neither LeCun nor Musk responded to requests for comment.

LeCun cited Musk’s claims that artificial general intelligence would be available next year and that Tesla would bring 1 million robotaxis to market by 2020 as examples of “blatantly false” predictions.

The latter promise was made during an investor call in 2019. Musk predicted that robotaxis would increase Tesla’s value to $500 billion. Tesla’s market capitalization surpassed $1 trillion in 2021, but the company has yet to deliver a single robotaxi.

Musk has also set lofty goals for his brain implant startup, Neuralink. He has stated that Neuralink’s devices could enable “superhuman cognition” and “solve” autism and schizophrenia. Musk stated at a “show and tell” recruitment event in late 2022 that he intends to receive an implant himself.

The company has only implanted its flagship system in one human patient and has yet to receive FDA approval for its technology.

LeCun also criticized Musk for taking credit for others’ work. He pointed out that Musk’s only technical publication on Google Scholar is about Neuralink. It appeared in the Journal of Medical Internet Research in 2019. Musk is listed as the lead author, with the generic term “Neuralink” listed as the second author.

“I’m sure the scientists who hide behind this collective name are super happy about that,” LeCun stated on X. “I just hope they won’t die bitter and forgotten.”








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