A Scientist Is 'Not A Business Or Product Person'

Yann LeCun
Turing Award winning French-American computer scientist, Meta’s chief AI scientist

X was once known as Twitter. While it has lost many of its uniqueness, it's still a place for many powerful and influential people communicate.

And "communicate" here also means to argue, comment, slam, and also mock and taunt one another.

The social media platform that is closely tied to billionaire and serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, is one of the rare places on the internet where things like this can happen from time to time.

This time, it's Meta’s Chief AI Scientist Yann LeCun, arguing with no other than Musk himself.

Musk caught himself in an unsuspecting Twitter beef, when LeCun slammed Musk for being himself.

Yann LeCun
Yann LeCun.

"[Musk] claims to want a "maximally rigorous pursuit of the truth’ but spews crazy-ass conspiracy theories on his own social platform," LeCun said in a tweet.

It all began when Musk posted a position with xAI, an American startup company working in the area of artificial intelligence.

Founded by Elon Musk in March 2023, its stated goal is "to understand the true nature of the universe."

"Join xAI if you believe in our mission of understanding the universe, which requires maximally rigorous pursuit of the truth, without regard to popularity or political correctness," wrote Musk.

LeCun replied by mocking Musk, by listing other claims from Musk, including that AI will kill everyone and the billionaire’s belief that xAI’s work will be solved in a year's time.

"I like his cars, his rockets, his solar panels, and his satellite network," LeCun said in a followup tweet. "I very much dislike his vengeful politics, his conspiracy theories, and his hype."

The Turing Award winning scientist also clarified to another account, saying that he is a scientist and not a business or product person.

Musk chimed in to say LeCun was "just following orders," to which LeCun responded, "You don’t seem to understand how research works."

Musk again responded by asking what ‘science’ LeCun had done recently, to which Meta’s Chief AI Scientist posted a link to his Google Scholar page with "over 80 technical papers published since January 2022."

Musk then replied to that comment, by saying that was "nothing," and that LeCun was "going soft."

"Try harder!" Musk taunted LeCun.

The beef between the two men came at a time where fears of AI have grown.

And this comment exchange exposed a polar opposite of the two men's views on AI.

Whereas Musk often preaches to AI doomers, those who believe the technology could be existential to humanity, LeCun offers a much less fear-inducing view on AI risk.

LeCun calls these "doomers" delusional, and has said that "it’s too early to worry about [AI]," and that it’s also too early to regulate it to prevent "existential risks."

Read: AI Is Soon Going To Be Smarter Than Humans. 'How Do We Survive That?'