Co-founder of Tesla and founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk made a surprise appearance on the Westworld TV series panel at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. During his stage time, he spoke about the excitement of space travel, sending a Tesla into a space and what a time it is to be alive.
Musk kicked off his quick on-stage appearance with discussing how there are a lot of negative things in the world. “There are a lot of terrible things happening all over the world, all of the time,” he said. “There are lots of problems that need to get solved. Lots of things that are miserable and kind of get you down. But life cannot just be about solving one miserable thing after another,” he added. “That can’t be the only thing. They need to be things that inspire you, that make you glad to wake up in the morning and be part of humanity. That’s why we did this”, referring to the recent launch of Falcon Heavy.
Elon Musk then spoke of his ambitions regarding his company SpaceX. He has already announced that he wants to go to Mars, that his company is making progress in the construction of a vessel capable of reaching it and the first tests of this device could even take place in the first half of 2019.
“Life will be harder on Mars or Moon than on Earth. Life on Mars will not be an escape for the rich. For the former, it will be very dangerous, and there will be a high probability that they will die. ”
But for the founder of SpaceX, taking humanity out of the Earth is indispensable in the perspective of a possible third world war: “We must make sure there are enough seeds of human civilization elsewhere to revive it. It is important to establish an autonomous base on Mars, because it is far enough away from Earth, and it will have more chances of survival. ”
Asked by a member of the public about the type of government he imagines to lead the Martian colony, Elon Musk defended “direct democracy rather than the appointment of representatives, that the laws should be “short” and “understandable”. “When the size of a law exceeds The Lord of the Rings in number of words, it’s because something is wrong,” he said.
Elon Musk also talked about the dangers of artificial intelligence: “It does not matter to me. In a few months, AlphaGo [a Google program specialized in the game of go] has gone from the stage where he lost all his parts to the one where he beats the world champion. The rate of improvement of AI is impressive, and we must ensure that the advent of digital superintelligence is compatible with humanity. ”
For Musk, it is the “most urgent existential crisis” at the moment and that is why it is necessary to find a way to regulate AI: “We do not allow anyone to make nuclear weapons, it would be crazy. And yet, remember what I tell you, AI is much, much more dangerous than nuclear weapons! ”