Meta AI boss Yann LeCun sounded off on the industry-wide state of artificial intelligence and quantum computing during a recent event to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the founding of Meta’s Fundamental Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) team.
During LeCun’s commentary, he commented on Nvidia’s current stranglehold on the AI hardware industry, the likelihood human-level AI will emerge in the near future, and why Meta isn’t currently pursuing quantum computing alongside its competitors.
The artificial intelligence war
LeCun’s views on the imminence of so-called human-level AI are well-documented. He’s long maintained that we’ll need to achieve “dog” and “cat” level AI before the field advances enough to support human-level AI. And he’s so far been reticent to give predictions on when those early milestones will happen.
By comparison, Elon Musk recently gave the bold prediction that a “Digital God” would arrive within the next 3 to 5 years.
In the middle, perhaps, lies Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang. He recently stated that AI would be able to complete tests in a manner “fairly competitive” with humans in the next five years. While this stops short of claiming full human-level capabilities, some experts view test-taking as a measure of an AI’s capabilities.
LeCun, apparently, is not among them. During FAIR’s 10 year celebration, he gave commentary related to the Nvidia CEO’s assertions:
“I know Jensen. There’s an AI war and he’s supplying the weapons.”
The Meta AI boss’ statement likely refers to the recent news that Nvidia is now the world’s most valuable chip manufacturer, a feat largely attributed to the company’s GPUs becoming the status quo hardware for training large language models such as ChatGPT.
LeCun further explained that the current technology cited as a potential spark for AGI, generative AI, was simply not good enough. “Text is a very poor source of information,” he said, adding “train a system on the equivalent of 20,000 years of reading material, and they still don’t understand that if A is the same as B, then B is the same as A.”
Related: Nvidia posts record $18B Q3 revenue, cites generative AI as primary driver
Another area LeCun touched on during the event was quantum computing. Unlike competitors Google and Microsoft, Meta has strayed relatively far from the quantum computing race.
“Quantum computing is a fascinating scientific topic,” said LeCun, but other comments made it clear that it was his view that the technology wasn’t ripe. “The number of problems you can solve with quantum computing you can solve way more efficiently with classical computers.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft recently entered into a $100 million partnership with Canadian quantum computing firm Photonic to bring a fault-tolerant, fully functional quantum networking system to market within the next five years.
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