Musk talks about what’s needed for the survival of the human race at SXSW
In his interview at the South by Southwest festival, Elon Musk revealed how his companies are preparing for the inevitable end-of-the-world scenario.
According to Engadget, it was revealed on Saturday 10th March in the ‘dead of the night’ by email that Elon Musk would appear at SXSW for a surprise Q&A session.
TechCrunch describes Musk’s interview as ‘long, fascinating’ and ‘meandering’. For Musk a good future would be a ‘sustainable generation and consumption of electricity’, ‘have a base on the Moon’ and a ‘base on Mars’ and ‘achieve symbiosis with that [benign] AI’.
Other key points that Musk discussed:
– Preparing for the likelihood of another Dark Age by having a human civilization somewhere else (hence Musk’s SpaceX venture)
– AI resulting in a dislocation, unemployment and advanced weapons. To ensure that this does not happen, Musk believes we need ‘a close coupling between collective human intelligence and digital intelligence.’ This is being explored through Musk’s Neuralink company
– Those that don’t face up to the reality of our future and believe they are smarter than the technology are misguided
– Everything that emits carbon needs to be taxed.
Ending his speech, Musk drew attention to the fact that his companies are on the verge of bankruptcy. Musk stated ‘SpaceX is alive by the skin of his teeth. So it Tesla.’
BBC breakdown the funding of Musk’s company. Musk initially invested $90 million into SpaceX and Tesla after getting $180 million when PayPal was acquired by eBay. After a difficult year in 2008, he was only left $40 million. He chose to split the money between the two companies.
There was a time when he was the chief engineer for the Falcon 1 because he couldn’t afford any suitable engineers. Although he can now afford to hire more engineers, Musk revealed that he spent 80 to 90 per cent of his time on engineering and design.
Watch a complete video of Musk’s Q&A at South by Southwest festival
Image credit – ‘TED2013_0042956_D41_7031’ by TED Conference on Flickr. Licensed by CC BY-NC 2.0