It is “most likely’ that the first humans will land on Mars in six years as earthlings were expected to create a “real civilisation” on the Solar System’s second-smallest planet, extravagant entrepreneur and space dreamer Elon Musk said in an interview with Axel Springer’s CEO Mathias Döpfne.
"… it's going to be a great adventure, and be one of the most exciting things that ever happened, if you don't die,” Musk said, according to Axel Springer’s daughter company Business Insider.
“That would be my ad for Mars," he boasted.
According to the SpaceX CEO, who recently said that his space transportation company had a “fighting chance” of sending uncrewed Starship rocket to Mars in four years, the Red Planet was not “a plan B” for him, but rather a part of his vision for humanity as “a multi-planet species and a spacefaring civilisation”.
Musk also said in the interview that he himself was anticipating to make a trip into space in “two or three years”.
In January, the industrial designer published a series of tweets revealing his plan to build a city of one million on Mars by 2050. He suggested back then that the brave travellers could be carried out to the fourth planet with the help of a Starship fleet, signalling his hope that around 1,000 spaceships could be developed in South Texas over the next 10 years for the mission.
In May, Musk’s brainchild SpaceX signalled a new success by sending the first commercial crewed ISS mission into orbit.
Conquering Mars but Fearing AI?
During the conversation with Döpfner, Musk also weighed in on the controversies surrounding his alarmist calls about the dangers associated with the rising power of artificial intelligence and his approach to self-driving cars.
The ambitious businessman noted that he was “definitely not trying to take anyone's steering wheel away from them”. However, he believes that autonomous vehicles will eventually become a “much safer” alternative in comparison to human driving, “probably by a factor of 10”.
Tesla's CEO however once again reiterated his stance that “government oversight” was needed in the field of artificial intelligence, which he profoundly uses in his projects.
"We need to be careful with the advent of AI. And who's using it, and who controls it, and is it going to be in the best interest of the people?"
As an example of some alarming trends in regards to technology's overarching control of our lives, Musk noted that even now it is difficult to discern whether we have already been incarcerated by our mobile devices.
"People are constantly responding to things on their phone. They feel like they own the phone, but perhaps they should ask themselves whether the phone owns them," Musk noted, raising a genuine “who is a master of who?” concern.
But for the famous industrial designer and engineer it was now a question of “symbiosis” between humanity and AI.
“And hopefully, that symbiosis is one that mutually benefits digital and biological intelligence," Elon Musk concluded.