Sean Parker calls Elon Musk's AI concerns a 'comic book vision,' urges Americans to focus on healthcare instead

Sean Parker, Facebook's founding president and Napster co-founder, told CNBC people shouldn't worry about Elon Musk's harsh cautions over artificial intelligence.

Mr. Musk has been vocal about his concerns regarding AI in recent years.

In 2017, Mr. Musk made headlines after he posted a series of tweets arguing AI posed "vastly more risk than North Korea." Earlier that year, he suggested the technology would result in job losses as robots "will be able to do everything better than us."

"As much as I love Elon, and he's a great entrepreneur and a friend, his comic book vision of a future in which an artificial superintelligence takes over everything and enslaves the human race is probably not what we should be worrying about," Mr. Parker said.

Mr. Parker told CNBC he thinks people — particularly investors — should be directing their concerns to the state of the healthcare system. Mr. Parker is founder and chairman of The Parker Foundation, an organization that funds and promotes research into life sciences, public health and civic engagement.

"In the U.S., we pay 18 percent of [gross domestic product] every year on healthcare," he said. "Now, we're bearing a lot of the burden developing drugs for the rest of the world, and we have a really messed up quasi-private public healthcare system. But that's $3.5 trillion dollars a year, that's a crazy amount of money."

CNBC noted Mr. Parker was likely referencing the country's healthcare spending in 2017, which rose 3.9 percent from one year prior. The U.S. spends more on public health than other high-income countries, according to CNBC.

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