Nowadays, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding the South-African entrepreneur and businessman Elon Musk. Elon Musk is a founder, CEO, and a lead designer for the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, otherwise known as SpaceX. He’s also a co-founder and CEO of both Tesla Inc. and Neuralink companies. Experts suggest that Elon is responsible for transforming transportation for both air and ground.
Aside from his inventions and technological improvements that are now made available, Elon’s ambitions seem to be focused towards the benefit of the entire human race. Elon plans on colonizing Mars, as well as connecting the human brain to a computer interface to help humanity keep up with the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) technology. But, is he really changing the humankind? Truthfully, his actions speak on his behalf and he certainly strives towards the greater good of us all. However, whether or not he’ll actually be able to succeed in his attempt is still unclear.
Going to Mars
Elon Musk has had great success with his SpaceX program. The idea of building commercial space travel spacecrafts originated in 2002. In 2008, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) awarded SpaceX with a contract to handle cargo transportation to the international space station with plans for transporting astronauts in the future as well. Musk made the headlines in May 2012 when his rocket Falcon 9 made it to the international space station with 1,000 pounds of supplies for astronauts stationed in space.
Since then, SpaceX has been very successful, from delivering satellites to Earth’s orbit all the way to launching Falcon Heavy rocket in 2018 designed for deep space exploration, which delivered Elon’s Tesla Roadster into space. But, Elon’s plans don’t end there. He plans on colonizing Mars, which may prove to be humanity’s savings grace, considering that resources on Earth are finite and that humankind isn’t at all kind to its natural habitat. In 2001, SpaceX started a “Mars Oasis” project to build a greenhouse on Mars.
Elon plans on having our first ever human presence on Mars by 2024. By 2022, he plans on sending out a cargo mission that will serve a purpose of confirming hazards and resources, such as water on Mars, as well as establishing power, life support, and mining infrastructure. By 2024, the first crew should land on Mars in order to start establishing the foundation for the first Mars base and, hopefully, a functional city. For the purpose of this mission, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is developing a spacecraft called BFR or “Big Fu****g Rocket” that integrates resources from previous Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and Dragon rockets into its system.
Computerizing the human brain
Elon Musk is generally concerned with the recent development of AI technology. He believes that if we’re not careful enough with this technology, the advanced AI may overtake humanity in a Skynet kind of scenario. In 2015, Elon announced founding an OpenAI company, which is a non-profit AI research company. The main reason is that he wants to develop AI that’s safe and beneficial for humankind.
He also stated that he wants to “counteract large corporations who may gain too much power by owning super-intelligence systems devoted to profits, as well as governments which may use AI to gain power and even oppress their citizenry.”
Not only that, but Elon’s plans also involve linking the human brain to a computer interface. For that reason, he founded the Neuralink company in 2016. The company’s purpose is research and development of neurotechnology that will help humans integrate with AI, in order to keep up with its advancements. In addition, he plans for Neuralink to develop implantable brain-computer interfaces that will battle brain diseases and improve memory, and eventually serve as human enhancements.
What’s more, he stated that OpenAI is not in fact contradictory, but instead complementary to Neuralink, as he wants to minimize the risks imposed by AI technology and help humanity embrace it at the same time. Elon’s ambitions concerning linking the human brain with a computer might sound like a story from a science fiction novel, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to make his ideas into reality. He’s already making significant progress with his other projects, which begs the question if he’ll have similar success with Neuralink as well.
It seems that Elon Musk does in fact have humanity’s best interest in mind. It’s safe to say that it’s refreshing to see a wealthy entrepreneur making an effort for the greater good of everyone. Will Musk be able to change humankind as we know it remains to be seen, but a lot of people hope that he succeeds in the end.