The Singularity is Nigh
Not much scares intrepid entrepreneur Elon Musk — not outer space, exploding rockets, supersonic air travel or disappointing us with unfulfilled promises. Robots, on the other hand? Elon Musk does not like smart robots.
While speaking on stage at MIT’s Centennial Symposium last week, Mr. Musk was asked if he had any thoughts on artificial intelligence. Read More
If you’ve been counting on Elon Musk to perfect space travel soon so that you can blast off into the cosmos and never have to look at Twitter again, we’ve got bad news: you’re going to have to wait a little longer.
See, Mr. Musk’s SpaceX tested a rocket Friday and it kind of exploded after takeoff.
There’s a lot of chatter in the air about a second tech bubble, though many of the smartest people in the room think it’s not the case. Either way, it doesn’t help when the tech media goes wild at every sky-high valuation — especially when the media gets it wrong.
We guess Elon Musk won’t be attending the robot Olympics. The billionaire mastermind behind technology companies like Tesla Motors and SpaceX says artificial intelligence is “potentially more dangerous than nukes.” Oh, shit.
IRL Iron Man
Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Ashton Kutcher — a veritable tech trifecta — have quietly come together and invested $40 million in a “secretive artificial-intelligence company,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
The company is called Vicarious FPC, and its goal is to create a computer program that functions like the neocortex in a human brain.
IRL Iron Man
Elon Musk really wants to convince everyone that the Tesla Model S won’t constantly run out of juice, leaving you stranded in traffic more than the lemon of a Triumph this reporter’s dad drove in the late 1970s.
Now, it seems, he’s decided to rope his kids into promoting the Tesla brand with a cross-country road trip, designed to demonstrate that you can get wherever you need in a Model S.
This sounds like a fantastic opportunity for Mr. Musk and his five sons to subsist entirely on Vienna sausages and cheese and peanut-butter sandwich crackers. But let’s hope the experience is more Crossroads, less National Lampoon’s Vacation.
IRL Iron Man
Hey, do you love Space Mountain and hate bumper-to-bumper traffic? Boy, does Elon Musk have the highly theoretical transit system for you!
The PayPal cofounder just released the open-source plans for his pipe dream, the Hyperloop, along with some futuristic renderings we’re pretty sure he stole from Frank Herbert’s Dune. It’s basically the love child of a supersonic jet and the monorail at Epcot. Mr. Musk says it’s “the right solution for the specific case of high traffic city pairs that are less than about 1500 km or 900 miles apart.”
Anything more and you just want to upgrade to supersonic air travel. (As one does.) Though he’s not entirely done hashing out the details, after pulling an all-nighter working on the plans:
Did Elon Musk’s pie-in-the-sky promises about releasing a plan for an ultra-fast “Hyperloop” get you all excited for the future of travel? Bad news: This time, even Mr. Musk has to admit he got a little ahead of himself.
On Tesla’s quarterly earnings call, someone asked (wholly seriously, it seems) whether shareholders would “see any benefit” from the Hyperloop, for which he’s supposed to release a plan on August 12. According to a Seeking Alpha transcript, that’s when the backtracking began:
Fuck Yeah Tumblr Tats Tumblr engineer Jeremy Johnstone, whose love for Tumblr’s now-parent company Yahoo has been chronicled in these pages before, did something totally normal: he got a Yahoo/Tumblr tattoo permanently inked to his shoulder blade.
After a steady stream of complaints about hacking and spam, BT (a.k.a. British Telecom) is moving its six million customers off Yahoo! email. [Telegraph]
“What we have concluded is that illegal enterprises — commercial child pornography, human trafficking, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and organized crime — has largely moved to an unregulated system that is not connected to any central bank or national authority.” Yikes. [New York Times]
The guy who runs Google Fiber says Google Fiber will make money for the company. [CNET]
Now Elon Musk wants to build something called a Hyperloop, a futuristic transit system that’ll get you from L.A. to San Francisco in 30 minutes. Guess Mars is just too mainstream these days. [Business Insider]
Soft Bank Capital has raised a $53 million fund to invest in early-stage startups based here in New York. [AllThingsD]