Elon Musk, one of Silicon Valley's most widely followed entrepreneurs and angel investors, has weighed in with his thoughts regarding a need for more government involvement to control social media and the new age of artificial intelligence (AI).
Musk's comments during an interview with "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday comes as Facebook Inc.'s (FB) founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg appears in front of U.S. lawmakers for the second day on Wednesday following the Palo Alto, California-based media giant's headline data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica. News that the political data analysis firm gained access to information on 87 million Facebook users to aid the Trump campaign in the U.S. 2016 presidential race caused investors to sell off shares of the high-flying tech stock, as FB shed roughly $100 billion in market capitalization in the aftermath.
As Facebook stock continues to recover some of its value this week, Tesla Inc. (TSLA) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who has publicly disagreed with Zuckerberg over matters such as AI, argued that Facebook and its social media peers need to checked more by the government. To put an end to "crazy" and "willy-nilly proliferation of fake news," the tech mogul suggested that there should be regulations on social media "to the degree that it negatively affects the public good."
Seeing a Role for Government
"You can't have more clicks on fake news than real news. That's allowing public deception to go unchecked," Musk told CBS' Gayle King. The CEO also acted upon a request last month from one of his 21.1 million Twitter Inc. (TWTR) followers, deleting the Facebook pages for both his electric vehicle company and his aerospace firm. On Twitter, he wrote that the decision was "not a political statement" and "not because someone dared me to do it." He wrote that he simply doesn't like Facebook: "Gives me the willies. Sorry."
The dual-CEO also reiterated his concerns about AI in his conversation with King on Tuesday, indicating that "I do think that there should be some regulations" on the red-hot technology. In March, Musk made bold comments on machine learning at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, in which he argued that the development of AI is more dangerous than that of nuclear warheads. While the Silicon Valley exec noted that he is not normally an advocate of regulation and oversight, he said it is necessary where there is "very serious danger to the public." Musk's full interview with CBS is set to air Thursday.
Amid the chatter of a need for heightened regulation on tech giants, Facebook executives have reiterated the fact that they are open to more oversight. "I think the real question—as the internet becomes more important in people's lives—is what is the right regulation, not whether there should be or not," Zuckerberg said at his congressional testimony on Tuesday. (See also: Elon Musk's New $55 Billion Pay Plan.)