Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO
Elon Musk and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discuss artificial intelligence on the X social media platform, Sept. 18, 2023

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and high-tech billionaire Elon Musk held a live discussion Monday on the issue of artificial intelligence (AI) on the X social media platform.

On X: Note: The discussion begins at the 9:15 time mark.


On YouTube:

They met shortly after the prime minister and his wife Sara stepped down from an El Al plane at San Jose Mineta International Airport.

In addition to owning Tesla, SpaceX and Neuralink, Musk owns the social media platform “X”, formerly called Twitter.

The two men discussed “how we can harness the opportunities and mitigate the risks of AI for the good of civilization,” in the live chat, which was streamed on X.

Musk warned that along with the benefits of AI, so too are there existing multiple risks, and said that he has been discussing those risks with world leaders in recent weeks.

Netanyahu raised the issue of by whom, and how, nuclear weapons are controlled, noting that until this point, deterrence — mutually assured destruction, or MAD – has been the controlling force and one that has created a code of conduct among global leaders. But should that deterrence falter, he pointed out, one might see mutually assured chaos (MAC) instead.

The Israeli leader also told Musk that he hopes he will find a way to deal with antisemitism expressed on the X social media platform.

“I know you’re an advocate of free speech, and I am as well. It’s a foundation of democracy. Still, I hope you can find a way to curtail antisemitism and hate speech online, as you’ve condemned it in every possible way,” Netanyahu said.

“Condemn it, yes, but to actually remove it from the platform is harder,” Musk explained. “Controversy is what keeps the X platform alive and vibrant, and ultimately is what drives civilization. What I can say is that we are trying to remove millions of bot accounts, so it will no longer be the one who pays the most who gets heard.

“Free speech does mean that at times, someone you don’t like is saying something you don’t like. Otherwise, it’s not free speech … Our overall goal for X platform is to maximize unregretted user time,” he added.

Musk also asked Netanyahu to explain the government’s planned judicial reforms, which have sparked an intense, ongoing and often vicious response by Israel’s left wing community. The prime minister explained that the judicial system has, over the decades, become an autonomous force that exerts more control over the affairs of state than the country’s elected leaders and legislators — and that the planned reforms are intended to restore the balance between the three branches of government.

Musk also joked in an aside to Netanyahu, “There is an old saying, that history is written by the victors. It’s like, yes, but not if your enemies are still alive, and have a lot of time on their hands to edit Wikipedia.”

Laughing, Netanyahu added, “History is written by the people who can harness the most editors.”

And Musk completed the thought: “You know, the losers have just got a lot of time on their hands — and what do they do? Edit Wikipedia. Literally.”


Previous articleSecond Annual Ari Fuld Lion of Zion Prize Award Ceremony Set for Sept. 21
Next articleUS Pays $6B Ransom, Hands Over 5 Iranian Prisoners, to Free 5 Hostages from Iran
Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.