Mark Zuckerberg had one busy weekend, along with taking a brisk jog through Beijing’s heavy morning air and shaking hands with politburo member Liu Yunshan, the Facebook CEO also made time to sit down with Jack Ma to talk tech.
At an annual economic summit in Beijing organized by the China Development Research Foundation, the two billionaires spoke about innovation, and judging from this picture, Zuck got a real talking to:
Inspired by humanity’s recent defeat in the game of Go to Google’s AlphaGo computer program, they both agreed that while artificial intelligence will certainly see huge growth within the next decade, there will always be a place for mankind.
“I think machines will be stronger than human beings, machines will be smarter than human beings, but machines can never be as wise as human beings,” the always-wise Ma said.
“The wisdom, soul and heart are what human beings have,” he added. “A machine can never enjoy the feelings of success, friendship and love.”
The Alibaba CEO also talked about China’s slowing economy, saying that he expects tough times for the next two to three years, calling it the “most painful period.” Ma said that China must now focus on three critical areas: consumption, services and high technology.
Their discussions were carried out in English, with Zuckerberg admitting that while he was able to handle a Q&A session at Tsinghua, his Mandarin level wasn’t quite up to this yet.
The two CEOs have even more in common than just their views on artificial intelligence and China’s economy, they both also own media companies that are blocked on the mainland.
While Zuckerberg seems to be doing all he possibly can to remedy that situation, Ma, who bought the South China Morning Post last year to improve China’s image abroad, has been playing it a bit more low key.
Still, despite all his efforts, Zuckerberg has met with little success, even after learning Mandarin and reading Xi’s books, all he could get from Liu Yunshan was the state-media reported hope that exchanges between Facebook and Chinese companies could be enhanced to help foster the development of the internet sector.
[Images via Sina]