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Elon Musk praises China, calls it ‘the future’

(Steve Jurvetson/Flickr)
September 04, 2019

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk applauded China’s technological progress at the 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai on Thursday, saying that the country “is the future.”

Musk’s gave his remarks during a conference covered by New China TV. Musk spoke with Jack Ma, the founder of China’s Amazon-equivalent, Alibaba, and discussed the opening of his new Tesla factory in Shanghai, which aims to produce a massive 3,000 new Tesla electric cars per week by the end of 2019.

“I spend a lot of my time on sustainable energy with Tesla with, you know, electric cars and solar and batteries and that kind of thing. And I’m really excited to be here in Shanghai for the Shanghai Gigafactory which is, I think, that [the] Tesla China team has done an amazing job on,” Musk said.

“It is really mind-blowing,” he added. “Like, I’m just astounded by how good the job is and how much progress has been made, and I think it’s a good story for the world and to say like ‘look how much progress you can make in China.’ ”

“This is extremely impressive like my hat is off you know you guys rock so I’ve never seen anything but so fast in my life before. To be totally Frank I’ve seen some crazy things so you know I think it’s like I really think China is the future.”

The 45-minute discussion included a debate about the future of artificial intelligence and both Musk and Ma held different opinions on the technology’s implications on the world.

“Does AI mean love? There’s like a name, AI, it sort of sounds a bit like love?” Musk asked.

Ma was more optimistic about AI’s future, saying that he didn’t consider AI to be a threat.

“I don’t know, man, that’s like, famous last words,” Musk replied. According to Musk, most people think of AI simply as a smart human, but he noted that it is going to be much more than that. “It’ll be much smarter than the smartest human.”

“The biggest mistake that I see artificial intelligence researchers making is assuming that they’re intelligent,” Musk added. “Yeah they’re not, compared to AI. And so like, a lot of them cannot imagine something smarter than themselves, but AI will be vastly smarter — vastly.”

With Musk attending the Beijing-endorsed symposium, China’s vision of being the world leader in technology becomes much more credible, Bloomberg noted.

While President Donald Trump wrestles with the world’s second largest economy by imposing tariffs and negotiating other trade deals in order to redirect supply chains back to America and end China’s aggressive espionage efforts, China has recently announced its most far-reaching military reform in the country since the 1950s when the nation took “The Great Leap Forward.”

In a formal announcement, China has indicated AI will play a major roll in this military build up.