A titan of technology is racing to colonize Mars because he says nuclear war, evil artificial intelligence or religious radicalism could unexpectedly end humanity.
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk says making it to Mars within a short window of time is imperative to the survival of the human race. Musk, whose position allows a unique vantage point of emerging technology, predicts time is limited to insure humanity against an extinction-level event of its own making.
“There’s a window that could be opened for a long time or a short time where we have an opportunity to establish a self-sustaining base on Mars before something happens to drive the technology level on Earth below where it’s possible,” the billionaire told GQ for its December issue. “So does the base become self-sustaining before spaceships from Earth stop going? I mean, I don’t think we can discount the possibility of a third World War. You know, in 1912 they were proclaiming a new age of peace and prosperity, saying that it was a golden age, war was over. And then you had World War I followed by World War II followed by the Cold War. So I think we need to acknowledge that there’s certainly a possibility of a third World War, and if that does occur it could be far worse than anything that’s happened before. Let’s say nuclear weapons are used. I mean, there could be a very powerful social movement that’s anti-technology. … There’s also growth in religious extremism. Like, I mean, does ISIS grow?”
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Musk also fears the scientific community is opening a Pandora’s Box with artificial intelligence. He and entrepreneurs in the technology industry are attempting to establish a $1 billion investment fund called OpenAI to help researchers responsibly experiment with AI.
Read More: World War 3 fears drive rush for Mars
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