Elon Musk Releases New Video of "Starman" and Falcon Heavy Launch

Kimbal Musk

Kimbal Musk is putting his custom Tesla Model 3 on the chopping block and you could be the lucky winner

"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".

Kimbal Musk
'More dangerous than nukes': Elon Musk still firm on regulatory oversight of AI

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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After a series of failures, Space X's Falcon Heavy rocket famously made it into space last month. For Musk, it's essential that humans plant a "seed" on another planet in case of World War III.

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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"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".

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Artist's rendering of U.S. astronaut planting a flag on Mars.

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