If there’s one thing Elon Musk is known to do, it’s talk. Whether he is selling flame throwers, challenging Putin to a punch-on, or asking his Twitter followers whether he should sell billions worth of Tesla stock, the serial memelord has been known to cause complete mayhem with just his words. There is, however, no denying the intellect and power of someone like Musk. When Elon Musk offers his thoughts on the state of the world and potential threats to humanity, we have to listen… No matter how exhausting it might be.
While Musk has long been outspoken on his greatest hope for humanity is to create a “self-sustaining city on Mars,” it was only during a recent conversation with Mathias Dopfner, the CEO of Axel Springer, that the world’s richest man decided to express his greatest concerns for our fate.
As reported by Business Insider, here are the three major potential threats to humanity according to Elon Musk.
While Musk did not elaborate on this one during this particular interview, he has expressed his thoughts on this subject in the past.
“Religious extremism, if that grows over time, is certainly a threat to the advancement of science. So, depending on how far that goes, that could be an issue.”
With Musk believing that humans becoming a multi-planetary species is the right move to increase the “probable lifespan of humanity,” it is understandable that any perceived obstacle – in this case, extreme religious rhetoric – would be considered one of the greatest threats to humanity.
“I spent a lot of time talking about the birthrate thing,” Musk said. “That might be the single biggest threat to the future of human civilization.”
In 2021, the CDC reported that the US birth rate fell by 4% from 2019 to 2020, making it the sharpest single-year drop in nearly 50 years. It also marked the lowest number of births since 1979.
“I’m really worried about this birthrate thing,” Musk said. “That’s been troubling me for many years, because I just don’t see it turning around. Every year it’s worse. And I drive my friends crazy with this.”
While other gents in Elon Musk’s tax bracket seem to be concerned about getting older and, by extension, dying, Musk himself seems more concerned with the inverse of this. Here, he referenced US politicians that lose touch with the average constituent by being significantly older than the bulk of the population.
“I certainly would like to maintain health for a longer period of time,” he told Döpfner. “But I am not afraid of dying. I think it would come as a relief.”
“I don’t think we should try to have people live for a really long time,” he said. “That it would cause asphyxiation of society.”
“The truth is, most people don’t change their mind. They just die. So if they don’t die, we will be stuck with old ideas and society wouldn’t advance,” he continued.
Elon Musk did not care to elaborate on this fear in this particular instance either, but we have been listening to him talk about a lot of these concepts for a while now.
“As AI gets probably much smarter than humans, the relative intelligence ratio is probably similar to that between a person and a cat, maybe bigger,” Musk said to Vox back in 2017.
“I do think we need to be very careful about the advancement of AI.”
This fear has not been significant enough to stop Musk from working on Artificial Intelligence himself, as he continues to develop ‘Neuralink’, which is a sophisticated AI-led company that intends to develop implantable brain-machine interfaces.
He recently claimed that this technology would ultimately allow paraplegics to walk again and is set to commence clinical trials later this year.