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Elon Musk just spent a chunk of his Memorial Day weekend needling Meta's AI chief on X

Kwan Wei Kevin Tan   

Elon Musk just spent a chunk of his Memorial Day weekend needling Meta's AI chief on X
  • Meta's AI chief Yann LeCun is an award-winning computer scientist.
  • But Elon Musk says he isn't impressed with LeCun's scientific work.

Meta's AI chief, Yann LeCun, might have won a Turing Award for his contributions to computer science, but Elon Musk doesn't seem too impressed with his work.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO spent a chunk of his Memorial Day holiday volleying jibes at LeCun after the latter mocked Musk's attempt to recruit workers for his AI startup, xAI.

"What 'science' have you done in the past 5 years?" Musk asked LeCun in an X post on Monday.

"Over 80 technical papers published since January 2022. What about you?" LeCun replied with a link to his Google Scholar profile.

"That's nothing, you're going soft. Try harder!" Musk said in response.

LeCun joined Meta in December 2013 and has worked for the social media giant for over a decade. The 63-year-old French-American is also a computer science professor at New York University.

But Musk didn't seem to believe that LeCun was involved in any scientific work at Meta.

"Yann is 'just following orders,'" Musk wrote when LeCun clarified that he's "a scientist, not a business or product person."

"You don't seem to understand how research works," LeCun replied.

Interestingly, LeCun didn't seem too fussed by his exchange with Musk. In fact, he even told an X user named Alvin Wang that he found the conversation "entertaining."

"You'd think they'd have more important things to do with their time than have a pissing contest," Wang wrote.

"On a holiday? During which I was stuck on an 8 hour transatlantic flight with free wifi? Pretty entertaining, I'd say," LeCun replied.

This exchange with LeCun is one of many times that Musk has butted heads with his tech rivals. The mercurial billionaire once challenged Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg to a cage match — which has yet to take place. Musk also filed a lawsuit against his OpenAI cofounder, Sam Altman, in February.

LeCun, however, wasn't raring for a cage fight like Zuckerberg.

"I'd settle for a sailing race," he said in a subsequent X post on Monday night.

Representatives for Musk and LeCun didn't immediately respond to requests for comment from BI sent outside regular business hours.


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