I write about where the world is going @ thedailyalgo.co
Elon Musk is no stranger to looking to the future. His companies are some of the most forward-thinking in the world.
Take Tesla, which is massively disrupting the electronic vehicle market. It’s also changing the way that we look at clean energy and has created a ton of next-gen technology of its own.
They’re even constructing the largest building in the world – and it’s entirely powered by renewable energy.
Then there’s Hyperloop, which is revolutionising transport. If you’ve ever seen Futurama, Hyperloop is basically like the tube systems that allow people to travel around at high speed.
There are rumours that the world’s first public Hyperloop will soon begin
construction in India.
Musk is also in charge of SpaceX, a private space company that’s giving NASA a run for its money. In fact, and unusually for a private company, SpaceX is due to start ferrying NASA astronauts to and from the international space station later this year.
So it’s safe to say that Musk knows a thing or two about the future.
Elon Musk is also no stranger to making predictions and bold claims. Some of them are more outlandish than others. For example, he famously said that there’s a high probability that we’re living in a computer simulation.
You read that right – Elon Musk says we’re probably living in The Matrix.
He’s also warned us about the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI). A hot topic at the moment, Musk has been outspoken with his warnings and even said that AI is more dangerous than nukes.
It’s important to remember, though, that AI is still just getting started.
In his latest comments, Musk called for the US military to prioritize space innovation and industry competition.
He argues that China is increasingly competing with the US across the board, and when it comes to technological progress in particular.
Musk says that if the US doesn’t prioritize continued development in the aerospace and technological industries, it’s at risk of being outpaced by other nations. He also argues that the fighter jet era has passed, and that the pace of technology has left them outdated.
Instead, new tech like drones and land-based robots are paving the way for a brand new type of warfare. It’s also interesting that these comments came not too long after President Trump announced the creation of a US “Space Force”, the first new branch of the military in over 70 years.
Is it a coincidence? Perhaps.
Elon Musk has also warned people of the dangers of artificial intelligence, famously predicting that AI could lead to World War III.
He also signed a letter alongside 115 other experts calling on the UN to ban “lethal autonomous weapons” – killer robots.
Of course, Musk’s statements haven’t gone unopposed. Most famously, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg clashed with Musk over AI.
Zuckerberg says that AI could be used to improve health and safety and that it could benefit the human race. Musk disagreed, saying that Zuckerberg’s understanding of AI was “limited”.
The issue here is that the use of AI, autonomous drones and other new technologies is an ethical one.
What we really need to do is to come together as a society and to discuss it. Technology are just tools, and like any tool they can be used for good or for not so good reasons.
Whether you agree with him or not, Musk’s comments are food for thought.
In many ways, that’s probably the point – we need to be talking about these issues.
As usual, Musk’s predictions goes against what most people think. It seems unlikely that a Rambo-inspired robot will be kicking down your door any time soon.
In saying that, the digital revolution has urgent and very real implications for how countries will engage in warfare.
It is almost impossible to overstate the challenges. If anything, we run the risk of simplifying our predictions on the future.