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Ballmer says machine learning will be the next era of computer science

Sharon Gaudin | Nov. 14, 2014
Former Microsoft CEO makes donation to expand Harvard's computer science department.

Artificial intelligence has been in the headlines since Elon Musk, the high-profile CEO of electric car maker Tesla Motors and CEO and co-founder of SpaceX, said in an interview at an MIT symposium that AI is nothing short of a threat to humanity.

"With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon," Musk said at the end of last month.

Ballmer said he isn't troubled about scientists pushing ahead with research into artificial intelligence or machine learning.

"It doesn't concern me," he said. "At the end of the day, will we have to have other innovations that protect people from privacy and security [problems]? Of course we will... I don't think being afraid of any innovation is a good thing."

He added that he doesn't think self-driving cars, which would require artificial intelligence and machine learning, will proliferate for another 10 years. "I won't be getting in any of them any time soon, at least not in the streets of Cambridge," he said.


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