Speaking at the VivaTech conference in Paris, Elon Musk said he bought Twitter because the social network was having a “corrosive effect” on civil society that he hoped to improve. “My hope was to change that and have it be positive for civilization,” he said. Musk believes that most regular users of Twitter would say their experience on the site has improved.
Musk expressed optimism about new CEO Linda Yaccarino’s ability to court advertisers. Use of the network is at an all-time high and “almost all the advertisers have said they have either come back, or they will come back,” he said.
When Musk took over, advertisers began fleeing Twitter due to concerns about the type of content their ads would appear next to. Since October, Twitter’s advertising revenue has declined by 50%. Musk hired Yaccarino, a former NBCUniversal ad executive, to improve the company’s relationship with brands. He believes she’ll do a “great job” handling advertisers’ concerns.
The Dangers of AI
Musk also used the platform to repeat his concerns about the dangers of letting artificial intelligence develop unchecked. “There is a great danger for digital super-intelligence having negative consequences,” he said. “If we are not careful with creating artificial general intelligence, we could have potentially a catastrophic outcome.”
While the technology could also have positive results, Musk stressed that there is “a risk to the public for sure” and it should be regulated.
Musk predicted that his Neuralink would carry out its first human implant later this year. Last month, Neuralink received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to conduct human clinical trials. Calling progress “slow,” Musk said the aim is to restore full body use to a person who has lost it.
Meetings with French Leaders
Earlier on Friday, Musk had lunch with French billionaire Bernard Arnault and met with French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron has lobbied Musk to build a factory in France and wanted to discuss AI, social media, and the regulatory framework for social networks.