0

Elon Musk Thinks Wayward AI Is The Greatest Threat To Humanity, Here’s Why

fb share tweet share

elon muskIf movies and TV are to be believed—and why wouldn’t they tell us the truth, they’ve never steered us wrong, right?—one of the biggest threats to the continued existence of humanity is artificial intelligence gone wild. From HAL 9000 to Skynet to Cylons and even this year’s Transcendence, tales of human creations that overflow their bounds and evolve beyond our control fill the annals of science fiction. Hell, that’s exactly what happened to Tony Stark in that Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, his creation took on a life of its own and starts wrecking up the joint. Creating technology we can’t control may be a problem, and billionaire Elon Musk is concerned.

The subject came up when the founder and CEO of SpaceX and electric sports car manufacturer Tesla spoke at MIT recently. That’s where he unveiled that he thinks the most significant threat to humanity is AI. He said, “I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So, we need to be very careful with artificial intelligence.”

0

SpaceX Wants To Put People On Mars Before NASA Does

fb share tweet share

manned_mission_to_MarsThe race to Mars is on. And by race I mean “painfully slow planning and plodding.” Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Putting people on Mars is no small feat — the journey itself is 7-8 months long (please tell me the astronauts will have Netflix!) and the astronauts will be subject to radiation the whole way. And then there’s everything that has to happen once we land, although I think a smart mission would involve sending robots ahead of time to set up some infrastructure. But more than anything, there’s the funding. It’s true that the House recently passed a reauthorization bill that supports manned Mars missions, but it’s unclear how much that will help, and to say that the price tag of such a mission is prohibitive would be an understatement. Still, despite all these obstacles, we humans are committed to spreading our species to another planet. The question is, who will be the first to do it? Will it be Mars One, the Dutch non-profit that’s currently whittling down a field of over 200,000 candidates for a Mars landing in 2025? Will it be NASA, with or without the help of other countries? Or will it be SpaceX, the renegades of the private space technology sector? Elon Musk is betting on the latter.

0

Tesla Model X On Track For 2015 And Its Patent Belongs To Us

fb share tweet share

tesla model xI’m so obsessed with SpaceX that sometimes I forget Elon Musk has another company (or six) to run. Tesla Motor Company is no slouch — despite a couple pesky fires, the Tesla Model S electric car is generally regarded as one of the safest and greenest vehicles around. And the next generation is coming — Tesla recently announced that its Model X will be available next year.

Customers have been putting down deposits of anywhere from $5,000-$40,000 for Model X for a couple of years, and initially it was scheduled to be in production by late last year. The delay arose when Tesla decided to focus on expanding sales of the Model S to Europe and Asia. But the wait seems to have been worth it, as the Model X looks pretty spiffy, and not much more expensive than the Model S. For me, the rear seat “falcon wings” are a big sell — who wouldn’t want to pretend they’re stepping into a time machine when getting into a car? Sure, that makes putting stuff on the roof pretty tough, but that’s what the optional third row of seats is for. The Model X also has two motors and four-wheel drive, and its battery pack will resemble that of the Model S, which ranges from 208-265 miles.

0

SpaceX Will Unveil The Dragon V2 Spacecraft Tonight

fb share tweet share

unveilWhat are you doing tonight at 10:00 PM EST? For most of us science and tech geeks, that’s a rhetorical question. We’ll be gathered around our computers, watching SpaceX unveil the Dragon V2—the next generation of the Dragon Spacecraft. This iteration isn’t for shuttling cargo to the ISS, it’s for taking astronauts there, and beyond.

Dragon has been proving its worth for years, becoming the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the ISS and serving as regular cargo service to the station. But SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has always had grander plans. Since the U.S. currently relies on Russian Soyuz capsules to get astronauts into space—a method of transportation that won’t be available to us for much longer—now is the perfect time to reveal the spacecraft that may take its place and restore the U.S.’s ability to launch its own astronauts into space by 2017. The V2, which Musk will unveil himself tonight via the webcast, is also known as the “Space Taxi.”

0

SpaceX To Launch Missions for the U.S. Military

fb share tweet share

Falcon 9SpaceX seems to be taking the world—make that the universe—by storm. The private contractor hauls cargo to the ISS, and despite an initial launch glitch, it has begun taking communications satellites into orbit. The company is also working on manned flight capabilities, with the long-term goal to get people to Mars. There seems to be no aspect of space travel SpaceX isn’t involved in, and now it’s poised to launch missions for the U.S. military.

This week, Elon Musk told the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense that he’s ready to get in the running for Air Force contracts based on the strength of theFalcon rocket. “Frankly, if our rockets are good enough for NASA, why are they not good enough for the Air Force?” Musk says. Fair point, though NASA has different requirements for its contracts.

0

3, 2, 1 — Uh Oh, SpaceX Reschedules Falcon 9 Rocket Launch For Thursday

fb share tweet share

Falcon 9

Earlier today, SpaceX’s website was counting down, stopping, then counting down again, then stopping again, scrubbing the launch that was scheduled to take place at approximately 5:37pm EST. On Thursday, SpaceX will again attempt to launch a Falcon 9 rocket for a GEO Transfer Mission. The rocket, which will launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, will put an Orbital Sciences SES-8 satellite, designed to support Southeast Asian communications needs for about 15 years, into a geostationary transfer orbit. Then, about a half-hour after launch, the Falcon 9 will deliver the satellite into geostationary orbit at about 22,000 miles above Earth, roughly 25% of the way to the moon. Many launchers deliver a satellite in two phases, or burns, depending on how long and how much power it takes to reach the first apogee. The transfer to geostatic orbit phase is usually performed via solar power, which reduces overall costs. This launch is SpaceX’s first attempt at putting a communications satellite in orbit.