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While young Elon Musk was a student, he believed that five key things would change the world. Before Elon Musk became a famous businessman and billionaire, he was a college student studying physics and economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He dreamed of space exploration and talked constantly about electric vehicles, according to Ashley Vance’s book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.
In 1992, student Elon transferred to Wharton School on a scholarship after two years of study at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.
“As a student reflecting on what is likely to change the future,” Musk said in an interview, “I thought there would be 5 things that would change the world.”
Student Musk believed that the Internet, which emerged in the 90s, “would fundamentally change humanity,” he said in a recent interview.
“I wouldn’t take it as a deep insight, but rather as an obvious one,” Musk said.
He compared the Internet to the human nervous system: “If you didn’t have a nervous system, you wouldn’t know what’s going on. Your fingers won’t understand what’s going on. The fingers just won’t know what’s going on. You have to do it through diffusion, ”he said.
“The way information used to work was dissemination. One person had to call another or write him a letter. It was extremely slow diffusion. And if you wanted to get access to books, but you didn’t have a library, then you don’t have one. That’s all”
He knew the Internet could change all of this.
Although Musk had only minimal access to the Internet at the time (he said he only used it to study physics), he knew the Internet would be “a fundamental and profound change.”
“Now you have instant access to all books, and you can be in a remote location at the top of a mountain and have access to all the information of humanity if you have a connection to the Internet,” Elon Musk said in an interview. “Suddenly, human organisms anywhere can instantly access all information.”
2. Multiplanetary life
Musk believed that “making life multi-planetary and making human consciousness multi-planetary” would change the world.
As a child, Musk was influenced by many science fiction books, and he believed that one day he would “build spaceships to expand the reach and reach of the human race,” according to Elon Musk.
Musk previously said that the seven-book science fiction series Foundation, created by scientist and writer Isaac Asimov, for example, “was fundamental to the creation of his aerospace company, SpaceX.”
On May 30, 2020, SpaceX successfully launched two NASA astronauts into orbit for the first time. This became an important milestone for manned space flight and brought Elon Musk one step closer to achieving his Martian ambitions.
3. Changes in human genetics
According to Musk, the character in the 1997 film Gattaca is genetically engineered to fulfill his dream of space travel, and when he was younger, he believed that the ability to change human genetics could change the world.
And that’s already happening today with technologies like Crispr, Musk said in an interview.
“I think it will soon become the norm to change the human genome to get rid of disease or propensity to various diseases,” he said.
“This will be the first thing you would like to do. If you have a situation where you will definitely die of cancer at age 55, you would prefer it to be edited. “
“There’s something like an extreme Gattaca where it’s not really edited, but is being edited for various improvements and the like,” he said, “which is probably coming soon too.”
“I’m not arguing for or against that,” Musk said. “I’m just saying it’s more likely to happen than not to happen in the future.”
4. Sustainable energy
As a teenager, Musk felt “personally responsible” for the fate of humanity and was inspired to one day create “cleaner energy technologies.”
Therefore, he believed that sustainable energy would change the future.
“Sustainability was actually something that I thought was important before the environmental impacts were as obvious as they are now,” he said.
“If you extract and burn hydrocarbons, compounds that form the basis of natural gas, oil and coal, then you will run out of them. This is not like metal mining…. We will never run out of metals, but we will run out of hydrocarbons. “
He said there could be a carbon tax in the future that will raise the cost of burning fossil fuels to mitigate climate change, which is “not a big deal.”
In 2004, Musk invested and co-founded the Tesla electric car. He became CEO in 2008. Tesla became the world’s most valuable automaker this Wednesday, when the electric car maker’s market capitalization surpassed Toyota for the first time.
5. Artificial intelligence
“AI is really very important,” Musk said in an interview.
In 2019, Elon Musk participated in the World Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Shanghai (he was a co-founder of the non-profit research laboratory for artificial intelligence OpenAI, but later left the board of directors of the company).
Speaking, he stated that computers will “surpass us in every way,” including such terrible things as robots malfunctioning or even the dominance of a potential AI race leading to World War III.
AI is “capable of much more than anyone knows, and the rate of improvement is exponential.”
He said at the 2018 South by Southwest tech conference.
Musk also founded artificial intelligence company Neuralink because he believes that humans must merge with AI today to keep from becoming irrelevant.
“We really want a strong connection between collective human intelligence and digital intelligence,” he said at the SXSW conference, “and Neuralink is trying to help in this regard by trying to create a high-bandwidth interface between AI and the human brain.”