Elon Musk: AI vastly more risky than North Korea

Tesla head warns of dangers of AI and pushes for regulation as OpenAI he backed beats best human players in online DotA 2 championship

Elon Musk has warned again about the dangers of artificial intelligence, saying that it poses vastly more risk than the apparent nuclear capabilities of North Korea does.

The Tesla and SpaceX chief executive took to Twitter to once again reiterate the need for concern around the development of AI, following the victory of Musk-led AI development over professional players of the Dota 2 online multiplayer battle game.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea. pic.twitter.com/2z0tiid0lc

August 12, 2017

This is not the first time Musk has stated that AI could potentially be one of the most dangerous international developments. He said in October 2014 that he considered it humanitys biggest existential threat, a view he has repeated several times while making investments in AI startups and organisations, including OpenAI, to keep an eye on whats going on.

Musk again called for regulation, previously doing so directly to US governors at their annual national meeting in Providence, Rhode Island.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

Nobody likes being regulated, but everything (cars, planes, food, drugs, etc) that’s a danger to the public is regulated. AI should be too.

August 12, 2017

Musks tweets coincide with the testing of an AI designed by OpenAI to play the multiplayer online battle arena (Moba) game Dota 2, which successfully managed to win all its 1-v-1 games at the International Dota 2 championships against many of the worlds best players competing for a $24.8m (19m) prize fund.

The AI displayed the ability to predict where human players would deploy forces and improvise on the spot, in a game where sheer speed of operation does not correlate with victory, meaning the AI was simply better, not just faster than the best human players.

Musk backed the non-profit AI research company OpenAI in December 2015, taking up a co-chair position. OpenAIs goal is to develop AI in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return. But it is not the first group to take on human players in a gaming scenario. Googles Deepmind AI outfit, in which Musk was an early investor, beat the worlds best players in the board game Go and has its sights set on conquering the real-time strategy game StarCraft II.

Musks latest comments come after a public spat with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg over the dangers of AI, with Musk dismissing Zuckerberg as having limited understanding of the subject after the social networks head called out Musk for scaremongering over AI.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/aug/14/elon-musk-ai-vastly-more-risky-north-korea

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Elon Musk not-so-subtly reminds us again that AI will probably lead to our destruction

Image: Paul Sancya/AP/REX/Shutterstock

For years, Elon Musk has warned us about the dangers of artificial intelligence even igniting a global discussion on the danger, calling it our greatest existential threat next to nukes.

In a speech at the National Governor’s Association on Saturday, the Tesla CEO reiterated his long-standing sentiments on AI technology.

I have access to the very most cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it.” He also flatly stated that AI is the greatest risk we face as a civilization, suggesting that the government intervene and regulate the technology before it’s too late.

Musk argued government regulation was essential because companies without proper oversight risk turning entire industries completely autonomous, leaving millions jobless.

AIs a rare case where we need to be proactive in regulation, instead of reactive. Because by the time we are reactive with AI regulation, its too late, Musk said, adding: AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization, in a way that car accidents, airplane crashes, faulty drugs, or bad food were not.

Musk’s unwavering warnings about our inevitable, machine-driven doom isn’t surprising, but his call for government intervention is significant.

Im against overregulation for sure, Musk stressed, But man, I think with weve got to get on that with AI, pronto.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/07/16/elon-musk-ai-greatest-risk-to-civilization/

Behold Elon Musk’s new x.com site

X.

Recent news that Elon Musk had bought back his old x.com web domain from PayPal prompted speculation on what, exactly, Musk plans to do with this new asset.

Well, now that the x.com site is live, we still don’t have any friggin’ idea.

The entire site currently consists of a single letter, and you get one guess as to which letter that is.

We checked the source of the site, and there’s no hidden wizardry here, just good old classic HTML.

Musk calls the site a “little verbose,” but says it’ll be fixed tomorrow. Given the man’s propensity for jokes, that lowercase “x” could turn into an uppercase one. Or it could be a full-fledged, beautifully designed, mega-awesome showcase for Tesla’s Model X. Or something else, entirely.

We guess we’ll find out more tomorrow. In the meantime, have this on repeat.

Update 7/14/17 (12:22 P.M. ET): Elon Musk confirmed with Mashable that he, in fact, wrote the elaborate HTML code for x.com.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/07/14/x-elon-musk-website/

Elon Musk aims to refit 5m homes with solar roofs

SolarCity is talking up the look and longevity of solar roofing but potential costs pose questions about whether it can succeed where others have failed

Elon Musks solar company has its sights set on replacing 5m rooftops in the US with traditional roofing materials integrated with solar cell technology.

SolarCitys plans, announced last month, to develop traditional roofs made entirely from solar panels are part of a goal to make sustainable homes more aesthetically appealing, convenient, and ultimately affordable to the average homeowner. Its betting that people who need to replace their roofs will be attracted to the companys solar cell option because it wont require additional work or dramatically alter the look of the home.

In an August conference call with investors, company chairman Elon Musk said people are forced to postpone solar adoption when they know a roof replacement is imminent and that there is a huge market segment that is currently inaccessible to SolarCity. He added that the companys solar cell roofing looks way better and lasts far longer than a normal roof.


Elon
Elon Musk, chairman of SolarCity. Photograph: Rashid Umar Abbasi/Reuters

By integrating a SolarCity roof with Tesla battery packs, it believes those homes could operate on solar power 24-hours a day. The lingering question, however, is whether mainstream homeowners will be able to afford that initial investment.

A SolarCity representative was tightlipped on costs, saying they could not share details about the product at this time.

Some industry players doubt the product can be affordable to most homeowners. Previous versions of photovoltaic roofs also called solar shingles have cost up to a third than traditional solar panels, were less efficient, and were far more pricey to install.

What [the company is] talking about is a paradigm shift, not just a small leap, says Scott Franklin, owner of Lumos Solar, which specialises in solar panel architecture and design. SolarCity is known for being a low-cost, fast installer. Now theyre talking about developing an entirely new product and becoming roofers? In terms of cost, theyre going from selling solar leases to telling somebody they have to replace an entire roof. Thats a dramatic cost difference.

In 2009, US multinational Dow Chemical began developing solar shingles. Yet at a price of more than $20,000 per roof, the technology was not commercially viable and Dow discontinued the product in June 2016.

Thatll be the battle the cost factor, says Bill Ellard, an economist for the American Solar Energy Society. But if SolarCity works with some of the major homebuilders and they can invent their own systems, I think theres a play there.

But even if it succeeds in creating an affordable product, can SolarCity match the success of other eco-home innovations?

Smart home devices such as Googles Nest thermostat are more affordable, and going down in cost each year. Thermostats and energy monitoring systems have taken off in recent years in part because they allow homeowners to cut energy use without changing their behaviour.


Googles
Googles Nest thermostat. Photograph: George Frey/Getty Images

Homeowners dont want to think about efficiency; they want it just taken care of, says John Quale, a sustainable home design professor at the University of New Mexico. We are not great about closing curtains or opening windows when we should. Thats why technologies that do things for us are so appealing.

Brian Abramson, cofounder of sustainable homebuilder Method Homes in Seattle, Washington, says smart home technology is becoming more mainstream, lower cost, and accessible. We probably do Nest thermostats and basic lighting control on 80% of our houses; a couple of years ago there werent any smart thermostats, and lighting control was only in 20% of our homes.

Success in the residential solar market, by contrast, is heavily dependent on friendly government policies, a model that has proved challenging when tax incentives threaten to expire, or when monopoly utility companies are allowed to change the way they reimburse solar panel owners for energy put into the grid.

By entering the home roofing market, SolarCity is also tacitly acknowledging that aesthetic concerns also hinder solar panel adoption.

Aesthetics are a big deal, says Franklin. The first wave of solar adoption was driven by economics or environmental concerns. Now people are already past the I think its a good idea phase. They want to do it, but it has to look good and add to the value of a home rather than just be a bolted on addition.

The companys announcement that it will unveil its solar cell roof in the coming months followed news that Tesla will acquire SolarCity as part of a master plan to integrate the solar panel company with Telsa battery products. That marriage between power production and storage could be the difference between failures of the past and what Musk hopes to achieve, Quale says.

If you look at the aspirations of Tesla and SolarCity, they have huge potential. Elon Musk is really talking about getting to the masses, and those companies could very well be an important driver in reducing costs, he says.

The conventional glass panel arrays have come down substantially in cost in the last five years and theres no reason to think these roofing materials couldnt fall into that as well.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/sep/03/elon-musk-solar-roofs-sustainable-homes-solarcity-panels

Elon Musk aims to refit 5m homes with solar roofs

SolarCity is talking up the look and longevity of solar roofing but potential costs pose questions about whether it can succeed where others have failed

Elon Musks solar company has its sights set on replacing 5m rooftops in the US with traditional roofing materials integrated with solar cell technology.

SolarCitys plans, announced last month, to develop traditional roofs made entirely from solar panels are part of a goal to make sustainable homes more aesthetically appealing, convenient, and ultimately affordable to the average homeowner. Its betting that people who need to replace their roofs will be attracted to the companys solar cell option because it wont require additional work or dramatically alter the look of the home.

In an August conference call with investors, company chairman Elon Musk said people are forced to postpone solar adoption when they know a roof replacement is imminent and that there is a huge market segment that is currently inaccessible to SolarCity. He added that the companys solar cell roofing looks way better and lasts far longer than a normal roof.


Elon
Elon Musk, chairman of SolarCity. Photograph: Rashid Umar Abbasi/Reuters

By integrating a SolarCity roof with Tesla battery packs, it believes those homes could operate on solar power 24-hours a day. The lingering question, however, is whether mainstream homeowners will be able to afford that initial investment.

A SolarCity representative was tightlipped on costs, saying they could not share details about the product at this time.

Some industry players doubt the product can be affordable to most homeowners. Previous versions of photovoltaic roofs also called solar shingles have cost up to a third than traditional solar panels, were less efficient, and were far more pricey to install.

What [the company is] talking about is a paradigm shift, not just a small leap, says Scott Franklin, owner of Lumos Solar, which specialises in solar panel architecture and design. SolarCity is known for being a low-cost, fast installer. Now theyre talking about developing an entirely new product and becoming roofers? In terms of cost, theyre going from selling solar leases to telling somebody they have to replace an entire roof. Thats a dramatic cost difference.

In 2009, US multinational Dow Chemical began developing solar shingles. Yet at a price of more than $20,000 per roof, the technology was not commercially viable and Dow discontinued the product in June 2016.

Thatll be the battle the cost factor, says Bill Ellard, an economist for the American Solar Energy Society. But if SolarCity works with some of the major homebuilders and they can invent their own systems, I think theres a play there.

But even if it succeeds in creating an affordable product, can SolarCity match the success of other eco-home innovations?

Smart home devices such as Googles Nest thermostat are more affordable, and going down in cost each year. Thermostats and energy monitoring systems have taken off in recent years in part because they allow homeowners to cut energy use without changing their behaviour.


Googles
Googles Nest thermostat. Photograph: George Frey/Getty Images

Homeowners dont want to think about efficiency; they want it just taken care of, says John Quale, a sustainable home design professor at the University of New Mexico. We are not great about closing curtains or opening windows when we should. Thats why technologies that do things for us are so appealing.

Brian Abramson, cofounder of sustainable homebuilder Method Homes in Seattle, Washington, says smart home technology is becoming more mainstream, lower cost, and accessible. We probably do Nest thermostats and basic lighting control on 80% of our houses; a couple of years ago there werent any smart thermostats, and lighting control was only in 20% of our homes.

Success in the residential solar market, by contrast, is heavily dependent on friendly government policies, a model that has proved challenging when tax incentives threaten to expire, or when monopoly utility companies are allowed to change the way they reimburse solar panel owners for energy put into the grid.

By entering the home roofing market, SolarCity is also tacitly acknowledging that aesthetic concerns also hinder solar panel adoption.

Aesthetics are a big deal, says Franklin. The first wave of solar adoption was driven by economics or environmental concerns. Now people are already past the I think its a good idea phase. They want to do it, but it has to look good and add to the value of a home rather than just be a bolted on addition.

The companys announcement that it will unveil its solar cell roof in the coming months followed news that Tesla will acquire SolarCity as part of a master plan to integrate the solar panel company with Telsa battery products. That marriage between power production and storage could be the difference between failures of the past and what Musk hopes to achieve, Quale says.

If you look at the aspirations of Tesla and SolarCity, they have huge potential. Elon Musk is really talking about getting to the masses, and those companies could very well be an important driver in reducing costs, he says.

The conventional glass panel arrays have come down substantially in cost in the last five years and theres no reason to think these roofing materials couldnt fall into that as well.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/sep/03/elon-musk-solar-roofs-sustainable-homes-solarcity-panels

Elon Musk aims to refit 5m homes with solar roofs

SolarCity is talking up the look and longevity of solar roofing but potential costs pose questions about whether it can succeed where others have failed

Elon Musks solar company has its sights set on replacing 5m rooftops in the US with traditional roofing materials integrated with solar cell technology.

SolarCitys plans, announced last month, to develop traditional roofs made entirely from solar panels are part of a goal to make sustainable homes more aesthetically appealing, convenient, and ultimately affordable to the average homeowner. Its betting that people who need to replace their roofs will be attracted to the companys solar cell option because it wont require additional work or dramatically alter the look of the home.

In an August conference call with investors, company chairman Elon Musk said people are forced to postpone solar adoption when they know a roof replacement is imminent and that there is a huge market segment that is currently inaccessible to SolarCity. He added that the companys solar cell roofing looks way better and lasts far longer than a normal roof.


Elon
Elon Musk, chairman of SolarCity. Photograph: Rashid Umar Abbasi/Reuters

By integrating a SolarCity roof with Tesla battery packs, it believes those homes could operate on solar power 24-hours a day. The lingering question, however, is whether mainstream homeowners will be able to afford that initial investment.

A SolarCity representative was tightlipped on costs, saying they could not share details about the product at this time.

Some industry players doubt the product can be affordable to most homeowners. Previous versions of photovoltaic roofs also called solar shingles have cost up to a third than traditional solar panels, were less efficient, and were far more pricey to install.

What [the company is] talking about is a paradigm shift, not just a small leap, says Scott Franklin, owner of Lumos Solar, which specialises in solar panel architecture and design. SolarCity is known for being a low-cost, fast installer. Now theyre talking about developing an entirely new product and becoming roofers? In terms of cost, theyre going from selling solar leases to telling somebody they have to replace an entire roof. Thats a dramatic cost difference.

In 2009, US multinational Dow Chemical began developing solar shingles. Yet at a price of more than $20,000 per roof, the technology was not commercially viable and Dow discontinued the product in June 2016.

Thatll be the battle the cost factor, says Bill Ellard, an economist for the American Solar Energy Society. But if SolarCity works with some of the major homebuilders and they can invent their own systems, I think theres a play there.

But even if it succeeds in creating an affordable product, can SolarCity match the success of other eco-home innovations?

Smart home devices such as Googles Nest thermostat are more affordable, and going down in cost each year. Thermostats and energy monitoring systems have taken off in recent years in part because they allow homeowners to cut energy use without changing their behaviour.


Googles
Googles Nest thermostat. Photograph: George Frey/Getty Images

Homeowners dont want to think about efficiency; they want it just taken care of, says John Quale, a sustainable home design professor at the University of New Mexico. We are not great about closing curtains or opening windows when we should. Thats why technologies that do things for us are so appealing.

Brian Abramson, cofounder of sustainable homebuilder Method Homes in Seattle, Washington, says smart home technology is becoming more mainstream, lower cost, and accessible. We probably do Nest thermostats and basic lighting control on 80% of our houses; a couple of years ago there werent any smart thermostats, and lighting control was only in 20% of our homes.

Success in the residential solar market, by contrast, is heavily dependent on friendly government policies, a model that has proved challenging when tax incentives threaten to expire, or when monopoly utility companies are allowed to change the way they reimburse solar panel owners for energy put into the grid.

By entering the home roofing market, SolarCity is also tacitly acknowledging that aesthetic concerns also hinder solar panel adoption.

Aesthetics are a big deal, says Franklin. The first wave of solar adoption was driven by economics or environmental concerns. Now people are already past the I think its a good idea phase. They want to do it, but it has to look good and add to the value of a home rather than just be a bolted on addition.

The companys announcement that it will unveil its solar cell roof in the coming months followed news that Tesla will acquire SolarCity as part of a master plan to integrate the solar panel company with Telsa battery products. That marriage between power production and storage could be the difference between failures of the past and what Musk hopes to achieve, Quale says.

If you look at the aspirations of Tesla and SolarCity, they have huge potential. Elon Musk is really talking about getting to the masses, and those companies could very well be an important driver in reducing costs, he says.

The conventional glass panel arrays have come down substantially in cost in the last five years and theres no reason to think these roofing materials couldnt fall into that as well.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/sep/03/elon-musk-solar-roofs-sustainable-homes-solarcity-panels

At 140 a mile, how does Elon Musks moon trip compare with other journeys?

From car to rail, its hard to find a terrestrial journey that matches SpaceXs astronomical cost

It is a stratospheric sum but it does, at least, include the return journey. Elon Musk, the billionaire American transport visionary, has suggested that the first, so far unnamed, passengers on his SpaceX flight round the moon will pay about $70m (56m).

Musk says the journey, tentatively scheduled for 2018 on an untested Falcon Heavy rocket, will cover up to 400,000 miles, although the Apollo 13 crew, on their trip to the moon in 1970, were a record 248,655 miles from Earth, so this figure seems modest if anything. Either way, 400,000 miles (about 16 times the circumference of Earth) for 56m is equal to about 140 a mile, which is easier to fathom. But how does it compare with terrestrial journeys?

Rail: The priciest rail ticket in the UK, the home of extortionate rail travel, is reportedly 501 for the 480-mile anytime return from Shanklin on the Isle of Wight to Buxton in Derbyshire (includes the ferry). Thats a little more than 1 a mile. The most expensive season ticket by distance, from Harlow Town in Essex to London Liverpool Street, is less than 40p a mile for a full-time worker.

Car: A Ferrari F12tdf has the joint worst fuel economy, according to US government figures, with as little as 12 miles a gallon. At current pump prices, that equates to about 45p a mile. Even adding depreciation, insurance and the 340,000 cost of the car its a lot cheaper than space.

Bus: Buses are cheap, right? Not if you take the No 47 from Lewisham Park in south-east London to Lewisham Hospital, 135 metres up the road. At 1.50 that equates to almost 18 a mile.

Air: You would think air travel comes close, but the worst damage you can do on an airliner is a 55,000 return ticket from London to Melbourne (20,000 miles total) in Etihads penthouse suite. But thats only 2.75 a mile.

Tube: The closest you can get to matching the cost of lunar travel is on the London Underground. The shortest Tube journey is the 350 metres, from Covent Garden to Leicester Square. A cash ticket costs 4.90, which equates to almost 23 a mile, about a sixth of the cost of a trip to the moon and back and a lot quicker.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/shortcuts/2017/feb/28/140-pound-mile-elon-musk-moon-trip-spacex-compare-terrestrial-journeys