Elon Musk: How to Build the Future

Elon Musk: How to Build the Future

Elon Musk shares his views with Y Combinator on how to build the future. It is an interesting interview with many insights into the future of technology.

“If somebody is doing something that is useful to the rest of society I think that’s a good thing, it doesn’t have to change the world, if you’re doing something that has high value to people then that is great. If it has a small amount of good for a large number of people then that is fine.”

“Stuff doesn’t need to change the world just to be good.”

“I think AI is the single biggest item in the near term that’s likely to affect humanity.”

“Second will be anything to do with genetics if you can solve genetic diseases if you can prevent dementia or Alzheimers with genetic programming, that would be wonderful.”

“Third will be having a high bandwidth interface to the brain. We’re effectively superhuman but we’re extremely bandwidth constrained in the interface between the cortex and the tertiary digital form of yourself and helping solve that bandwidth constraint would be very important for the future as well.”

“I really was just trying to be useful, that’s the optimization, what can I do that would actually be useful.”

“Whatever this thing is that you’re trying to create what would be the utility Delta compared to the current state-of-the-art times how many people it would affect. So it’s really about trying to be useful and matter.”

“With SpaceX, I’d suddenly come to the conclusion that if something didn’t happen to improve rocket technology we would be stuck on earth forever.”

“Technology doesn’t actually get better every year automatically, it only gets better if smart people work like crazy to make it better, that’s how any technology actually gets better. And by itself technology, if people don’t work on it, it will decline.”

“Entropy is not on your side.”

“I actually feel fear quite strongly, so it’s not as though I just have the absence of fear, I feel it quite strongly, but there are just times when you believe something is important enough, you believe in it enough that you do it in spite of fear.”

“It’s normal to feel fear. Something that can be helpful is fatalism to some degree, if you just accept the probabilities then that diminishes fear.”

“At this point, I am certain there is a way, I am certain that success is one of the possible outcomes for establishing a self-sustaining Mars colony, in fact, growing a Mars colony, I’m certain that it’s possible.”

“With AI it becomes a very unstable situation I think if you’ve got any incredibly powerful AI you just don’t know who’s going to control that.”

“If we can effectively merge with AI by improving the neural link between your cortex and your digital extension of yourself, which already exists, just has bandwidth issues and then effectively you become an AI human symbiote.

“If we are the AI collectively then we do not have to worry about the control problem and the evil dictator AI.”

“Have a sense of urgency and believe in the mission.”