Elon Musk Reveals The Three Greatest Threats To Humanity
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Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk has revealed three existential threats to humanity in a recent interview, outlining his biggest fears about the future.
In a conversation with Mathias Dopfner, the CEO of Axel Springer, the world’s richest man was frank in his assessment of the gravest issues that the planet currently faces.
The three threats he identified above all others were: religious extremism, declining birthrates and 'artificial intelligence going wrong', as Business Insider reports.
The birth rate fall across the western world has been flagged by Musk several times before. "I spent a lot of time talking about the birthrate thing," Musk said. "That might be the single biggest threat to the future of human civilisation."
According to the CDC, the US birth rate fell by 4% from 2019 to 2020, which happened to be the sharpest single-year decline in nearly 50 years. The longstanding decline in birth rate numbers does also appear to have been compounded in 2020 by the pandemic – leading to a so-called 'baby bust'.
The South African’s views on Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the possibility of the technology spiralling out of control, are also well-documented.
“As AI gets probably much smarter than humans, the relative intelligence ratio is probably similar to that between a person and a cat, maybe bigger,” Musk stated back in 2017, via Vox. “I do think we need to be very careful about the advancement of AI.”
However, in what seems to be a direct contradiction, Musk is also working frantically on ‘Neuralink’, a sophisticated AI-led company that intends to develop implantable brain-machine interfaces.
The 50-year-old recently claimed the tech could allow paralysed people to walk again, with clinical trials set to commence later this year.
During Musk’s conversation with Dopfner, the topic of his own mortality also came up, which elicited a rather philosophical response from the business magnate.
While expressing a desire to maintain health for a longer period of time, he confessed to not being afraid of death. "I am not afraid of dying. I think it would come as a relief," he claimed, adding that he would like to live long enough to see his SpaceX project fully realised.
"I don't think we should try to have people live for a really long time," Musk said. "That it would cause asphyxiation of society."
This stance places Musk at odds with several high-profile billionaires, each of whom is ploughing substantial resources into discovering the scientific fountain of youth – and methods that could help to halt the natural ageing process.
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Topics: Technology, Elon Musk, SpaceX, Tesla