Elon Musk Wants to Hack Your Brain | Elon Musk on Sway with Kara Swisher

Key Takeaways

  • “Tesla should really be measured by how many years we accelerate the advent of sustainable energy. It will happen, with or without Tesla, but the fundamental good is by how many years do we accelerate it.”Elon Musk 
  • Why is Tesla’s stock so high?
    • “I think some critical mass of the market has concluded that Tesla will win, I guess” – Elon Musk
      • “If you ask me, do I think Tesla will be worth more than this in 5 years? I think the answer is yes.”
  • Who is Elon voting for? His answer:
    • “Let’s just see how the debates go…I think that’s probably the thing that will decide things for America.”Elon Musk
      • Elon believes that if Joe Biden shows that he has things together in the debate, he’ll win
        • “If he does, he probably wins”
  • “I’m like socially very liberal and then economically, right of center, maybe, center”Elon Musk
  •  “Think of it [Nueralink] like a Fitbit in your skull or an Apple Watch in your skull” Elon Musk
    • The Neuralink team is also working on making it easy to remove so that people could upgrade to newer versions as it’s released
      • “You wouldn’t want an iPhone one stuck in your head”
  • “AI does not need to hate us to destroy us” Elon Musk
    • Just as we don’t hate ants but would destroy an anthill if we needed to place a highway there, AI will treat us the same way
      • “You don’t hate ants. You’re just building a road”
  • “The potential for intelligence in computers is far greater than in biology. Just far, far greater.”Elon Musk

Intro

Batteries & Electric Cars

  • The world is moving to sustainable energy like electric cars, but there are two main constraints: affordability and volume
  • The two biggest industries in the world are energy and transport so to shift those two industries to more sustainable energy, there needs to be an ungodly amount of batteries
    • “We have to make a truly, almost unimaginably vast number of cells because sustainable energy is primarily solar and wind. Wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine so, therefore, we must store the energy in batteries.” – Elon Musk
  • “Tesla should really be measured by how many years we accelerate the advent of sustainable energy. It will happen, with or without Tesla, but the fundamental good is by how many years do we accelerate it.”Elon Musk 
  • “I do not think this is a wise time to invest in gasoline cars…Electric cars are the future there’s really no question about that at this point.” – Elon Musk
    • California is banning sales of new gasoline cars starting in 2035

Wall Street & Tesla

  • Many investors weren’t impressed with Tesla’s Battery Day event but that doesn’t matter to Elon:
    • “The results will speak for themselves” – Elon Musk
  • “Tesla’s been in mortal danger for a long time but I would say it is not in mortal danger right now” Elon Musk
    • Tesla now has volume production and free cash flow. Additionally, Tesla’s car is so good that customers are willing to pay extra for it.
  • Why is Tesla’s stock so high?
    • “I think some critical mass of the market has concluded that Tesla will win, I guess” – Elon Musk
      • “If you ask me, do I think Tesla will be worth more than this in 5 years? I think the answer is yes.”

Sustainable Energy Is Inevitable 

  • Elon was thinking about sustainable energy back in high school
    • “We don’t want civilization to collapse if we run out of oil…Civilization would collapse so we got to have electric cars.” – Elon Musk 
      • Elon planned to study ultracapacitors at graduate school to find ways to improve battery technology for electric cars
  • We’re going to run out of oil sooner or later so it’s better to make the transition to sustainable energy sooner rather than burning oil and polluting the environment and causing more global warming:
    • “In the meantime, we’ve run this crazy climate experiment which could turn out to be extremely bad and the evidence at this point is overwhelming that it will be pretty bad.”Elon Musk
      • “It’s kind of like what happened with cigarettes. For the longest time, they were like the science is unclear as to whether cigarettes are bad for your health. And like nope, the science is definitely not unclear.” 

Elon Talks Politics

  • Elon has talked with President Trump on multiple occasions and Trump seems to be a supporter of Elon’s work with Tesla and SpaceX. 
    • However, because Trump has so much more support from the oil and gas industry than the sustainable energy industry, Trump tends to create policies that favor oil and gas companies.
  • Who is Elon voting for? His answer:
    • “Let’s just see how the debates go…I think that’s probably the thing that will decide things for America.”Elon Musk
      • Elon believes that if Joe Biden shows that he has things together in the debate, he’ll win
        • “If he does, he probably wins”
  • “I’m like socially very liberal and then economically, right of center, maybe, center”Elon Musk

Space & Beyond

  • The more companies in the space industry, the more competition and innovation will take place:
    • “Multiple companies competing to advance the future of space flights so we can ultimately become a multi-planet species and a space-variant civilization” Elon Musk
  • Being multi-planetary also helps ensure the survival of the human species:
    • It helps humans escape volcanoes, meteors, climate changes, etc.
      • Elon believes future generations will live on other planets while Jeff Bezos believes they will live on space stations  
  • Every great civilization has had an arc, it doesn’t constantly keep going up
    • Modern humans went to the Moon in 1969, but haven’t been there since
  • What’s needed to enter the new space age?
    • “The fundamental breakthrough that is needed is a fully and rapidly reusable rocket” – Elon Musk
  • SpaceX’s Starship rocket could have people in it as early as two years from now

Neuralink & AI

  • “Think of it like a Fitbit in your skull or an Apple Watch in your skull” Elon Musk
    • The Neuralink team is also working on making it easy to remove so that people could upgrade to newer versions as it’s released
      • “You wouldn’t want an iPhone one stuck in your head”
  • “AI does not need to hate us to destroy us” Elon Musk
    • Just as we don’t hate ants but would destroy an anthill if we needed to place a highway there, AI will treat us the same way
      • “You don’t hate ants. You’re just building a road”
  • “The potential for intelligence in computers is far greater than in biology. Just far, far greater.”Elon Musk
  • Humans are already part electronic, we have electronic devices and part of our life is digital
  • Neuralink will speed up our rate of communication and could use help treat certain diseases
    • “You can make people walk again, you could solve extreme depression or anxiety or schizophrenia or seizures” Elon Musk
  • Neuralink has been implanted in about a dozen pigs so far
    • It’s going to be a long time before it gets to humans. It needs to get FDA approval and be made reversible so anyone could get it removed if needed.

Additional Notes

  • Large scale manufacturing is between 1,000% to 10,000% harder than making the prototype:
    •  “This is something that the average person really has no idea about whatsoever” – Elon Musk
  • The future isn’t good or bad, it isn’t binary. It’s a spectrum:
    • “The actions that we take change the probability that the future will be good. It’s not all or nothing.” – Elon Musk
  • Will Elon get the COVID vaccine?
    • “No. I’m not at risk for COVID.” – Elon Musk
  • Tesla actually makes the vaccine machines for CureVac
  • When Elon has too many ideas in his head, it’s difficult for him to go to sleep:
    • “I’ve got too much stuff in my head. You know it’s like having too many browser windows open or something.” – Elon Musk
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Notes By Alex Wiec

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