Fake Experts

Having a lot of money means erroneous, bad, or unoriginal opinions are taken seriously and take precedence over experts and ‘good’ opinions (at least by the media; academia is more discriminating). Predictions of AI risk are a dime a dozen, but when Elon Musk opines about it as he occasionally does such as in 2017 and in 2018, the media becomes transfixed even though Mr. Musk has never published research on AI and has no substantive credentials on the matter [although the Vox article cites AI expert Nick Bostrom, the only reason why it was newsworthy is because of Musk’s remarks]. When Bill Gates entertains such nonsense as a tax on robots, the media treats it as a serious policy proposal despite Mr. Gates not substantiating his position beyond a single remark, and, like Mr. Musk, having no expertise in the topic he has now been ordained an expert overnight by the media on. It’s like “Bill Gates says robots will make NASCAR drivers obsolete!” Bill Gates is officially an expert on self-driving cars. Part of the problem is the media assumes that because someone is fabulously wealthy, smart, and successful at one field of technology, that he or she can pass as an expert at anything else tech-related. Bill Gates comparing AI to nuclear technology is like asking a football player about his favorite March Madness picks. It’s like , yeah, they are both professional athletes, but the similarities end there. Linus Pauling and his remarks on victim C shows the limitations of even the greatest of minds outside of their domains of expertise. However, this does not work for certain subjects such as theoretical physics and math, because these are subjects that are so technical and difficult, even for smart guys like Musk and Gates, that one cannot form a base of intuition from which to opine about them without sounding like a total uninformed idiot, as Deepak Chopra did when he formulated his own interpretation of quantum mechanics.