Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla CEO, has never been shy about his vision for the future and technology. He wants to colonize Mars (and possibly kill you, but not himself, in the process). He wants us to merge our bodies with machines. He thinks his ex-wife makes an excellent “deadly sexbot” on Westworld. This week, thanks to a lengthy profile in Vanity Fair, we learned a few more details about Mr. Musk. And, wow, are they … something.
On the price of San Francisco real estate.
Musk lives in Los Angeles and operates SpaceX from a nearby suburb, Hawthorne. When he visits San Francisco, he often stays with his friend, Google co-founder and current Alphabet CEO, Larry Page to defray costs. “It’s not worth having a house for one or two nights a week,” Musk told Vanity Fair. (Musk is worth $13.7 billion.)
On his relationships.
Musk has been married three times. Most recently, he and British actress Talulah Riley were married and divorced. Twice. But before that, he was married to and had five kids with writer Justine Musk. “I am the alpha in this relationship,” Justine says Elon told her while the couple danced at their wedding. (Maybe should’ve gotten that one out of the way before the ceremony.)
On robots taking over the world.
For Musk, even robots engineered to do lame tasks — his example involves a self-improving bot engineered for picking strawberries — run the risk of going rogue and no longer needing humans. “All it really wants to do is pick strawberries,” he told VF. “So then it would have all the world be strawberry fields. Strawberry fields forever.” (Apologies to the Beatles, for this clearly off-the-cuff reference dooming humanity.) He also said that he believes robotic tech is evolving far quicker than most people realize, because we don’t interact with it regularly. “In everyday life you don’t see robots walking around. Maybe your Roomba or something,” Musk said. “Roombas aren’t going to take over the world.”
On kill switches.
“I’m not sure I’d want to be the one holding the kill switch for some superpowered A.I., because you’d be the first thing it kills.”
On Mark Zuckerberg’s homemade robo-butler, Jarvis.
“I wouldn’t call it A.I. to have your household functions automated,” Musk told Vanity Fair. “It’s really not A.I. to turn the lights on, set the temperature.” Ouch. How will Zuckerberg ever recover from such a burn?
“I think those are quite likely.”