"I think we'll be able to do short flights, short up-and-down flights, sometime in the first half of next year", he told screenwriter and director Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher, onstage.
He said it was vital humans reached the Red Planet before the next "probable" world war.
But, aware of his reputation, he added: "Sometimes my timelines are a little. y'know".
Elon Musk Releases New Video of "Starman" and Falcon Heavy Launch
He also warned that a colony on Mars wouldn't be an "escape hatch for rich people", but rather a new frontier.
Pointing to AlphaGo and its predecessor AlphaGo Zero, Musk said AI is capable of vastly more than anyone knows, and said the rate of improvement is also exponential. Today he specifically cited the risk of a Third World War and its aftermath.
While his projects such as Tesla's Model 3 "affordable" new auto have been dogged by delays, he's become the driving force behind a new space race. "Most likely, the form of government on Mars would be somewhat of a direct democracy", he said, with settlers having a direct vote on individual issues.
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Woods' return to form following his back problems has been remarkable considering he only started hitting balls five months ago. Woods has been slowed by mistakes, some leading to big numbers the last time he played at the Honda Classic.
Musk spoke at length about his role as an entrepreneur with SpaceX and electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, his concerns about advancements in artificial intelligence ("It scares the hell out of me") and the need to put a price on carbon emissions in order to develop a sustainable energy system.
"Mars will need everything from iron foundries to pizza joints to nightclubs".
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He had led the farmers' strike previous year which led to the blocking of milk and vegetable supplies to the cities for few days. Many farmers leaders said that it should not be considered as a communist protest as it is for the betterment of the farmers.
"No one predicted that rate of improvement", Musk said. "Once we have it, we'll have a sort-of point of proof, something that other countries and companies will go and do", he said.
In response to those who have dismissed his doomsay concerns, Musk had this to say: "Mark my words, AI is far more risky than nukes".
Today's conversation ranged over all things Musk - from SpaceX and Tesla, to The Boring Company, Neuralink and the billionaire's concerns about artificial superintelligence. "I think that's the single biggest existential crisis that we face".
Browns trade former Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer to Packers
Kizer had an NFL-high 22 interceptions as well as nine fumbles (six lost) in his first season. "I believe in Brett Hundley . The teams also swapped picks in the fourth and fifth rounds, meaning the Packers moved to the top of those rounds.
Artist's rendering of U.S. astronaut planting a flag on Mars.