Elon Musk Wants Manned Mars Mission by 2024, Says Our Reality May Be a Simulation

The most common comparison that people make when trying to characterize Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is that he’s a real-life version of Tony Stark; probably because there have been few — if any — non-fiction parallels to the guy simultaneously revolutionizing aerospace, transportation, renewable energy, and the internet (don’t forget he’s also the Chairman of SolarCity and was the co-founder of PayPal and Zip2). But at yesterday’s Code Conference 2016, Musk blew the gull-wing doors off of not only what people should expect of the iconic entrepreneur and his companies in the coming years, but also off of reality itself.

During his roughly 83-minute interview and Q&A sesh with Recode’s Kara Swisher and The Verge‘s Walt Mossberg, Musk outlined what he envisions for the future of SpaceX and Tesla, serving up a buffet of insanely awesome innovations and events to look forward to.Some of the biggest highlights included:

  • Hopeful launch of Falcon Heavy (“which will be the most powerful rocket in the world by more than a factor of two”) by the end of 2016 – [14:25]
  • Sending the Dragon V.2 to Mars in 2018 – [18:20]
  • Announcement of “architecture for Mars colonization” later this year at the AIC – [20:00]
  • Hopeful launch of manned mission to Mars in 2024 – [22:00]
  • Another “Tesla event” at the end of 2016, which will probably be held to announce fully autonomous driving capabilities for the Model 3 – [39:40]
  • Discussion of the non-profit organization, OpenAI, which hopes to “democratize AI power” – [41:35]
  • Discussion of the future of the Hyperloop – [~ 51:00]

Musk also discussed what could be done in order to prevent people from becoming “pets” for AI (which could be on the order of 1,000,000 times smarter than we are), by using a “neural lace” that would be injected through the jugular vein, and would essentially make us cyborg intelligences (around 58:00). Oh, and he also outlined a better way to build a society by noting that the ideal government on Mars would probably be a direct democracy — as opposed to a representative democracy like we have in America — where laws with built-in “sunset periods” would be easier to remove than to create.

And if all that wasn’t enough to thoroughly explode everybody’s heads, when somebody from the audience asked Musk if he thought this reality is a simulation or not, he responded by saying that “the odds that we’re in base reality is one in billions” (his reasoning for this conclusion begins around 1:15:15).

To sum up: soon our cars will drive themselves, there’s going to be a direct democracy (and pizza!) in an upcoming Martian colony, and we may be house cats for AI (but maybe not since we’re going to be cyborgs).

After you’re done scooping your gray matter off the ground, let us know what you think about all of these Musk predictions and efforts in the comments below!

Images: Recode

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