Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk may sound like an alarmist when he talks about the threat that artificial intelligence (A.I.) poses to humans, but he’s got an ally in billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of the basketball team Dallas Mavericks and a lead investor on Shark Tank. On Sunday at New York City’s OZY FEST, Cuban had similarly drastic language about the advancements in machine learning that are coming and even happening now; he said that A.I. is already “changing everything.”
Cuban described our current moment as a “transitional period” in which the stage is being set for aggressive technological development that will happen more quickly than either the rise of the internet or of smartphones and will cause serious “disruption.”
“There’s going to be a lot of unemployed people replaced with technology, and if we don’t start dealing with that now, we’re going to have some real problems,” Cuban said. He continued, “A lot of jobs that were very repetitive are going to get replaced by neural networks.”
Cuban doesn’t think that all of the changes will be uniformly bad, though: He also noted that the transition is going to “change how people approach problem-solving,” and that “Companies are going to have to adjust, to learn how to acquire data and use that data in ways they never have before.”
His opinions are not unlike those of Elon Musk, who called A.I. a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization” at the National Governors Association meeting this month. Musk advocated for governmental regulation of A.I., saying that a forthcoming massive replacement of human employees is the biggest threat A.I. poses to global society.
Cuban thinks that these changes are already occurring. “Without question, machine learning, computer vision and neural networks are changing everything,” Cuban said. “However much change you saw over the past ten years with the Apple iPhone, that’s nothing.”
Cuban has sounded the alarm in the past, too. In February, he said that any person who doesn’t learn about A.I. is “going to be a dinosaur within 3 years,” and again cautioned that major job losses will soon occur.