Musk responded with a mild denunciation of anti-Semitism, as he sought to focus the conversation on the importance of free speech and his efforts to combat bots on the site.
“I am against anything that promotes hate and conflict,” Musk said. He added that he was “for that which promotes civilization and ultimately leads us to become a spacefaring civilization” and that “we can’t do that if there is a lot of infighting, hatred and negativity. Obviously I am against anti-Semitism.”
The meeting came as each leader sought mutual help to defend themselves against criticism. The two said their meeting was intended to discuss artificial intelligence, but the conversation quickly veered toward anti-Semitism and also touched on Iran, as well as protests against Netanyahu’s government in Israel and the United States.
The protesters, who followed Netanyahu’s motorcade from the San Jose airport, surrounded the Tesla factory in the morning and planned to continue protesting in San Francisco’s Union Square.
For Netanyahu, the meeting with one of the world’s leading tech entrepreneurs comes amid criticism that his controversial push to reform Israel’s judiciary risks scaring off international investors and the tech community that has given him Israel its reputation as a “newly created nation.” In remarks made in Israel before his departure for California, Netanyahu called Musk “the current leader of the most dramatic development in the new era and perhaps in general,” apparently referring to AI, and said he “will work to encourage him to invest.” in Israel in the coming years.”
For Musk, a personal visit by Netanyahu offered a chance to counter accusations of anti-Semitism after a series of tweets in which he blamed the Anti-Defamation League, a prominent Jewish human rights organization, for trying to destroy X and threatened to sue the non-profit organization. . The investigation has found that anti-Semitic speech has increased dramatically on the platform since Musk acquired it last fall, and ADL leaders have said that Musk’s recent criticism of the organization has further stoked hate online and offline. she.
Early in the meeting, Musk and Netanyahu discussed the threat of artificial “superintelligence” surpassing that of humans and perhaps taking control of humanity, something they both seemed to agree is real and pressing. (The idea that AI will surpass human intelligence in the foreseeable future is controversial among experts, some of whom see it as a distraction from the technology’s current risks and limitations.)
Netanyahu then pivoted to anti-Semitism, which seemed to make Musk uncomfortable. However, both agreed on the importance of limiting the ability of bots to artificially spread hate messages on the platform. Musk said he believes the best way to do this is to continue pushing X users to sign up for paid subscriptions and prioritize posts from those who do.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that the couple was planning to meet in Silicon Valley at the start of Netanyahu’s trip to the United States for the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly.
This is a developing story. Please check for updates.