Elon Musk and Other Tech Celebrities Want to Prevent AI from Taking over the World

Artificial intelligence and the dangers that it could pose are taken very seriously by some of the world’s most renowned tech experts, including Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Jessica Livingston and Reid Hoffman. In order to prevent large companies from taking things too far in terms of AI development, the aforementioned individuals and Amazon Web Services are collectively pledging $1 billion to a non-profit named OpenAI.

It’s true that companies such as Google are currently sharing a large portion of their research, but it’s not exactly clear how much information will be divulged in the future, especially since AI might actually rival human intelligence at some point. Sources indicate that OpenAI will make all of its results available to the public and will offer its patents royalty-free, which definitely goes a long way towards ensuring the subject’s transparency. Elon Musk has voiced his artificial intelligence concerns several times in the past while Bill Gates has also expressed his own warnings. Apart from helping to fund OpenAI, Elon actually plans to spend time with the organization’s team members in order to check up on their progress. These meetings would probably take place every week or so, which is definitely commendable considering how busy Musk’s schedule must be.

Elon Musk Shoots down Jeff Bezos’ Latest Rocket Achievement

It’s not exactly easy to land a rocket in a controlled fashion, but it appears that Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin initiative has managed to do just that a little while ago. Blue Origin’s New Shepard unmanned capsule has managed to ascend to an altitude of 333,000 feet or about 62 miles on Monday, and then it landed using parachutes on the company’s private range in West Texas. In order to celebrate this admittedly impressive achievement, Jeff Bezos posted a Tweet in which he pointed to a “Historic Rocket Landing” video. However, even though Elon Musk initially congratulated him, he then posted another series of Tweets that were a little less friendly, one of which said: “Jeff maybe unaware SpaceX suborbital VTOL flight began 2013. Orbital water landing 2014. Orbital land landing next.”

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been attempting to land large Falcon 9 rocket boosters on an ocean platform for some time now, but all attempts have been unsuccessful so far. By comparison, the Blue Origins booster managed to fly through 119 mile-per-hour crosswinds before using its single BE-3 engine in order to slow its fall and control its landing. To be fair, Bezos’ rocket is much lighter when compared to Musk’s Falcon 9, which is considerably heavier and more difficult to land safely. Reusable rockets could dramatically lower the costs of human spaceflight, which is why I’m very glad to see some real progress regarding this particular technology.

Image courtesy of BlueOrigin.

Elon Musk Thinks That We Should Find Another Planet to Call Home

We’ve all seen the latest news about Elon Musk and his big plans for Mars, but a recent blog post signed by Tim Urban named “How (and why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars” does a good job at explaining why Musk thinks that we should find another planet to call home as soon as possible. Earth has been bombarded in the past by asteroids that caused mass extinctions, and given the fact that there have been a total of five of these events that we know of, it’s probably safe to assume that another apocalypse is on its way. That’s why Elon Musk thinks it’s imperative that we become a multi-planetary species, and the most obvious candidate for colonization right now is Mars. Reportedly, Elon told Urban that he’d like to send about 1 million people to Mars in order to create a viable industry and infrastructure. This sounds like a very ambitious plan indeed, but for now Musk plans to reveal a SpaceX rocket that can carry up to 100 people at once to the red planet.

In the blog post, Urban compared humanity and Earth to a hard drive and its files:

“Now—if you owned a hard drive with an extraordinarily important Excel doc on it, and you knew that the hard drive pretty reliably tended to crash every month or two, with the last crash happening five weeks ago—what’s the very obvious thing you’d do? You’d copy the document onto a second hard drive.”

Do you think that we should figure out a way to leave our planet behind as soon as possible, and if so, do you think that SpaceX will be the company that will facilitate the process?

Thank you TechInsider for providing us with this information.

Elon Musk Wants to Provide Internet for the Entire Planet Using Satellites

Satellite-based internet service is definitely not a groundbreaking concept, but providing internet on a global level using satellites is a completely different story. Elon Musk, the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, has recently revealed his plans to launch no less than 4,000 satellites into space, satellites that would provide internet to the entire planet. If successful, the project would basically transform SpaceX into a real competitor for the likes of Verizon and Comcast, but it’s too early to think about such things right now.

It’s not that I’m skeptical, but this is not the first time that such as thing has been attempted without success. Back in the 90s, a company supported by Bill Gates sketched out a similar project, but as costs slowly begun to pile up, the whole thing was eventually scrapped. Musk wants to figure out if the current antenna on his satellites is strong enough to send signals from orbit to Earth, and he wants to use a series of small machines that are cheap to produce and easy to maintain in order to achieve his internet-providing goals.

The project is currently awaiting permission for testing from the United States Federal Communications Commission. Do you think that it has a chance to be successful?

Thank you FuturologyLoaded for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of BusinessInsider.

Could the Hyperloop be Nothing More than a Pipe Dream?

The Hyperloop could revolutionize transportation as we know it by carrying people from city to city with extraordinary speeds and in complete safety. When Elon Musk first introduced the idea in August 2013 through a preliminary design document, the project’s passenger-only version was estimated to cost $6 billion, while a version that would also be able to transport vehicles was estimated at $7.5 billion. The project has received plenty of attention and it looks like it could actually become a reality, as Elon Musk is now building a test track through SpaceX while a research company called HTT is building a separate track in California.

However, a closer look at the project’s scale and limitations reveals that the Hyperloop might be nothing more than an unrealistic goal. Some of the main reasons behind its potential failure could be the vastly understated costs as well as several safety features. For example, the deceleration time for a pod traveling at up to 760 mph would be at least 70 seconds, which is worrying because the original design for the Hyperloop involved pod departures every 30 seconds. In the event of a failure, the distance between the pods would need to be more than doubled, while the passenger volume would need to be halved. This means that the Hyperloop could only be able to transport about 10% as many people as the California ‘high speed’ rail, for example, which is the project’s competitor.

Only time will tell if the Hyperloop will actually become a reality, but it’s quite obvious at this point that there are still quite a few problems to solve.

Thank you Msn for providing us with this information.

People are Running “The Dumbest Experiment in History” Says Elon Musk

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, chairman of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla Motors, had some interesting things to say in an interview about fossil fuels and about how humanity is taking a huge risk by continuing to use them for its energy needs. To be more specific, Musk stated that people are running “the dumbest experiment in history” by continuing to burn fossil fuels, and he may actually have a point. According to Musk, the biggest problem is not necessarily that we’ll run out of fossil fuels someday but that we’ll be forced to stop extracting them at some point because we’ll simply do too much damage to the planet. Current data from oil and gas giant BP suggests that we’ll run out of coal by 2121 at current extraction rates, while natural gas reserves will be depleted by 2069. Oil will run out by 2067, and even though we might find new sources of oil deep under the ocean or in tar sands, extracting it will be too costly.

As far as the Earth’s atmosphere is concerned, some researchers believe that we’ve already reached the point where there’s enough carbon in the atmosphere to create a serious impact on human life. Tesla aims to convince humanity that cars can run perfectly fine without oil, but then there’s the problem of producing electricity using clean sources. Viable alternatives would be geothermal power, wind power, hydroelectric solutions and solar power. Even nuclear power is much cleaner than coal.

During the interview, Elon Musk stated the following:

“The greater the change to the chemical composition of the physical, chemical makeup of the oceans and atmosphere [due to increased carbon emissions], the greater the long-term effect will be. Given that at some point they’ll run out anyway, why run this crazy experiment to see how bad it’ll be? We know it’s at least some bad, and the overwhelming scientific consensus is that it’ll be really bad.”

Below you will find a chart that explains our situation at the moment. The main idea is that the sooner we move on to sustainable energy, the better it will be for us and our planet.

Thank you TechInsider for providing us with this information.