Mark Andreessen is a busy man.
The co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and the co-founder of Mosaic, the first widely used web browser with a graphical user interface, Andreesen offered his Twitter followers a chance to ask anything they wanted about artificial intelligence.
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“Ask me anything about AI, or any of the topics in Why AI Will Save The World [a thought piece released by Andreessen on the same day], as responses to this tweet and I will answer as many as I can.”
Many of his over 1 million followers took Andreessen up on the offer, along with another leading light in the technology community.
“How many years do we have before AI to kill us all,?” asked Elon Musk in a subsequent tweet to Andreessen, which was seen by 8.9 million people.
Not surprisingly, Andreessen has emerged as a thought leader on all things AI. In his connected piece on June 9, which originally appeared on the Andreessen Horowitz website, he describes what AI is and what it isn’t.
“The era of Artificial Intelligence is here, and boy are people freaking out,” Andreessen stated. “Fortunately, I am here to bring the good news: AI will not destroy the world, and in fact may save it.”
“(AI is) the application of mathematics and software code to teach computers how to understand, synthesize, and generate knowledge in ways similar to how people do it,” he noted. “AI is a computer program like any other – it runs, takes input, processes, and generates output. AI’s output is useful across a wide range of fields, ranging from coding to medicine to law to the creative arts. It is owned by people and controlled by people, like any other technology.”
(“Yet AI isn’t) killer software and robots that will spring to life and decide to murder the human race or otherwise ruin everything, as you see in the movies,” Andreessen added.
Hopefully, that succinct explanation can help Musk sleep better at night.