5 Takeaways From Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Q&A: From Poking to ‘Will the Machines Win?’

The social media CEO takes questions from Stephen Hawking, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Arianna Huffington

Last Updated: July 1, 2015 @ 3:34 PM

Mark Zuckerberg hosted a town hall Q&A Tuesday on — where else? — Facebook and fielded questions from some very familiar names.

Stephen Hawking, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Arianna Huffington joined members of the public to quiz the Facebook CEO and Internet entrepreneur on a wide range of topics from mathematical theory to whether machines will take over the world (spoiler alert: “No.”)

TheWrap picked the five top takeaways from Zuckerberg’s candid social media forum.

1. Zuckerberg is a people person at heart
Zuckerberg and Hawking have more in common than just Oscar-nominated movies about their lives. The former psychology and computer science major at Harvard held his own in a conversation with the theoretical physicist, who asked: “Which of the big questions in science would you like to know the answer to and why?” Rather than gravity (Hawking’s pick), Zuckerberg is more interested in people, he said. “What will enable us to live forever? How do we cure all diseases? How does the brain work? How does learning work and how we can empower humans to learn a million times more?

“I’m also curious about whether there is a fundamental mathematical law underlying human social relationships that governs the balance of who and what we all care about. I bet there is.”

2. He wants faster, richer, more frequent news
Huffington wanted to know his thoughts on news and how it relates to the Internet. “Based on everything you’ve learned, how do you think the way journalists and news organizations present their stories online will evolve over the next few years?” she asked. The Facebook founder said the focus should be on richness — going beyond videos to more immersive content like VR — and speed/frequency. “There’s an important place for news organizations that can deliver smaller bits of news faster and more frequently in pieces … I’m not sure anyone has fully nailed this yet.”

3. Even Zuckerberg regrets inventing “poking”
When asked why the social media giant added poking to Facebook — even he didn’t have a good answer. “It seemed like a good idea at the time,” he replied bluntly.

4. Arnie plugs his new film
Schwarzenegger is best known for two things — body-building and the “Terminator” franchise. After questioning the active tech giant about his workout routine, the former California governor posed a question nicely timed with this week’s release of “Terminator: Genisys”: “By the way, will the machines win?” Zuckerberg predicted: “No, the machines don’t win.”

5. He believes even desert islands have WiFi
Because all the best questions always come from children, a woman from Scotland had the winner of the day when she wrote: “My 10-year-old … wants to ask you what you would take to a desert island with you if you could only take three things (fyi there is no WiFi there so no FB).”

“That depends. Have we successfully delivered satellite connectivity through Internet.org yet?” Zuckerberg asked cryptically, dismissing the nonsense idea of no Internet. “Because we’re working on this, and in the not too distant future, I’m pretty sure there will in fact be wifi on that island. In that case, I’ll bring my wife, my dog and my phone.

“Otherwise, I guess I’d just bring my wife, my dog and a book,” he added.