Elon Musk is a busy, busy man! Besides being the 21st century’s Leonardo Di Vinci and CEO of two highly successful companies, Elon Musk is now also an adviser to the POTUS Donald Trump.
Nothing is ever crazy or out of the question for this man, who has seen the once outrageous idea of “hyperloop” come to life and now talks about digging under cities to fix the chronic traffic problems. In view of that, we have collected 13 of Musk’s craziest ideas yet.
Musk wants to send humans to Mars by 2024.
“We’re establishing cargo flights to Mars that people can count on,” he said. “The Earth-Mars orbital rendezvous is only every 26 months, so there’ll be one in 2018; there will be another one in 2020. And I think if things go according to plan, we should be able to launch people probably in 2024 with arrival in 2025.”
He even aspires for a Martian government.
“I think most likely the form of government of Mars would be a direct democracy, not representative,” he said. “So it would be people voting directly on issues. And I think that’s probably better because the potential for democracy is substantially diminished.”
And he not only wants the survival on Mars but human beings to be thriving on the red planet.
Musk said in the Reddit AMA that he wanted the red planet to include everything from “iron foundries to pizza joints.”
But he is not subtle in describing the dangers of the journey. In September, Musk said anyone who embarks on the first journey to Mars should be “prepared to die.”
“The first journey to Mars is going to be really very dangerous,” he said. “The risk of fatality will be high. There’s just no way around it.”
But he found a bright side even out of death.
“I think if you’re going to choose a place to die, then Mars is probably not a bad choice,” he said.
Talking about Tesla’s self-driving features, Musk said that discouraging people from using self-driving cars is equivalent to killing them while he was criticizing the media’s coverage of accidents involving Tesla’s Autopilot vehicles.
“One thing I should mention that is, frankly, it’s been quite disturbing to me, is the degree of media coverage of Autopilot crashes,” he said, adding that it “is basically almost none relative to the paucity of media coverage of the 1.2 million people that die every year in manual crashes.
“And think carefully about this because if in writing some article that’s negative you effectively dissuade people from using autonomous vehicles, you’re killing people.”
Musk compared a company accepting liability for self-driving car crashes involving to getting stuck in an elevator.
“No, I think that would be up to the individual’s insurance,” Musk said when asked whether Tesla would accept liability if its self-driving cars were to get in an accident. “Point of views on autonomous cars are much like being stuck in an elevator in a building. Does the Otis [Elevator Company] take responsibility for all elevators around the world? No, they don’t.”
Like many of us, he also thinks that all humans could actually be part of another civilization’s video game.
“I’ve had so many simulation discussions it’s crazy,” he said. “In fact, it got to the point where basically every conversation was the AI-slash-simulation conversation, and my brother and I finally agreed that we’d ban any such conversations if we’re ever in a hot tub. Because that really kills the magic.”
He even racked up the odds for us living in a simulation than the actual reality.
“There’s a billion-to-one chance we’re living in base reality,” he said.
In fact, he thinks living in a simulation might be humans best bet as things could get really ugly if that is not the case.
“Arguably we should hope that that’s true, because otherwise if civilization stops advancing, that may be due to some calamitous event that erases civilization,” he said. “So maybe we should be hopeful that this is a simulation, because otherwise … We are either going to create simulations indistinguishable from reality or civilization ceases to exist.”
Tesla CEO also termed humans as “already a cyborg” while commenting on our ability to have a supernatural digital presence through email and social media.
“You have more power than the president of the United States had 20 years ago,” he said. “You can answer any question, you can video conference with anyone, anywhere. You can send messages to millions of people instantly. Just do incredible things.”
Adding his characteristic ingenuity to the idea, he believes that we should take the whole cyborg thing and add a digital layer of intelligence to our brains to avoid becoming “house cats” to the AI robots of the future.
“I don’t love the idea of being a house cat, but what’s the solution?” he said. “I think one of the solutions that seems maybe the best is to add an AI layer. A third, digital layer that could work well and symbiotically” with the rest of your body.
Musk also revealed that he might have an announcement on that digital layer, or neural lace, next month.
Musk terms AI as our “biggest existential threat.”
“So we need to be very careful with artificial intelligence,” he said. “I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence, we’re summoning the demon.”
Do you think Musk’s apprehensions about AI are justified?