Well, those people indeed are specialists in the field, so yes, I will take their words very seriously.
My point was specifically about giving the same credit to Musk or Hawking. Their word, there, have not much weight than, say, would John le Carré or Chris Hadfield - sure I'd pay attention, but wait for actual experts before any decision.
Even less so in the case of Hawking, who already prove woefully incompetent in another field.
Not quite, and that's an important point, actually.
When it is a human error, the humans can me kept accountable, and they can even face the judicial system in the worst cases.
When an AI makes a mistake, the responsibility is diluted. Is it the sub-contractor team that developed the algorithm that is responsible? Or is it the one, from another sub-contractor, that fine-tuned it through AI learning? Or is it the one that designed its architecture? Or the ones made tests? Or the one that ordered its deployment in those conditions?
And this isn't simply a blame game. Without accountability, people may simply not feel responsible from the end-result, and let things go that an accountable human (in principle) can't.
For example, when people are killed because one commander ordered to fire at innocent civilians, he can be held accountable, and others commanders will make extra sure that they won't fire at innocent civilians, not only to avoid sanction but also to not have those dead innocents on their conscience, for which they would clearly be responsible for.
If it is an AI glitch that fire at innocent civilians, each individual that worked on the AI may say "well, I wasn't really responsible anyway", and not feel like they should put extra more efforts in the thing to make sure it doesn't happen again. After all, that one glitch was fixed ("they did fix it, right?) and it's not really "my" role anyway.
The accountability problem is a big one (it is the reason most nations are against letting killer drones without a human in the loop to push the button, for example), and one without obvious answers.
Which makes for great fodder for those who want to write SF!