Watch the best bits of Elon Musk's SXSW talk

'More dangerous than nukes': Elon Musk still firm on regulatory oversight of AI

"And we'll probably be able to do short flights, short up and down flights, during the first half of next year". "Although sometimes, my timelines are a little, you know".

"For the early people that go to Mars, it will be far more risky", he said.

"I could put it all into one company, and the other company would definitely die, or if I split it into both SpaceX and Tesla, then they both might die", he said. Today he specifically cited the risk of a Third World War and its aftermath.

More pressing to Mr Musk, and the investors that enable him, might be the backlog of orders for the Model 3, Tesla's "affordable" new auto. He also predicted a utopian social model for the red planet, akin to the ancient Greek republics, without the slavery.

Wrapped around all four corners of the Austin Convention Center, a line of people waited anxiously for a golden ticket-their chance to get a glimpse of Elon Musk, the "modern-day Ironman".

For this writer, it transports her back to her office building in downtown Orlando, standing atop of the parking structure, watching the countdown and launch live before looking up seconds later to see the Falcon Heavy rocketing up through the sky. He also speculated that "most likely, the form of government on Mars would be somewhat of a direct democracy", in which residents would vote directly on particular issues.

"Holy flying f-, that thing took off", Musk said.

Jumping ahead, Musk said others like him would flock to a Martian colony in an "explosion of entrepreneurial opportunity" to build everything from "iron foundries to pizza joints to nightclubs".

And he feared a nuclear war would destroy human life on Earth, reports the BBC.

"Mark my words: AI is far more unsafe than nukes, by far, so why do we have no regulatory oversight, this is insane".

"The thing about spaceflight is all of us working together... and we're trying to think of an image, something to sort of shock people into thinking about this again", Nolan said.

Today's conversation ranged over all things Musk - from SpaceX and Tesla, to The Boring Company, Neuralink and the billionaire's concerns about artificial superintelligence. And if he doesn't try and get us to Mars, who will?

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