Sustainable Energy, Self-Driving Cars, Robots, Starships, and AI-Augmented Humans

One of my guiding philosophies is that ideas are cheap. Ideas don’t lead to success. Successful people are those who take ideas and follow-through. They implement them. They make them happen. The bigger the idea, the bigger the success.

If you agree with my philosophy, then Elon Musk’s success should not surprise you. He has taken big ideas like mass-market electric vehicles and reusable rockets and turned them into a reality. Therefore, when he starts talking about his vision of the future, I listen.

Earlier this month, he sat down with the head of TED, Chris Anderson, for an interview that covered a wide range of topics. Musk talked about his vision for sustainable energy by 2050, when autonomous vehicles would be a reality, household robots, armadas of starships taking people to Mars, and his plan to augment humans with AI and why it needs to happen.

It’s a rather long interview at just over an hour, but worth your time if you have any interest in how the future may unfold. Usually I would discount this kind of “crazy” talk, but Musk has a track record of making it happen. I’ve included additional interviews of Musk below that date back to 2013 if you want to see how his past predictions have panned out. Spoiler alert: they were pretty spot on, especially when you consider how big the vision is.

First up is an interview that Musk did with TED in February 2013. At this point, mass market EVs and reusable rockets were considered crazy, unsustainable ideas by most of us.

I was impressed by Musk’s vision at that time and wrote a post explaining why.

Second up is one of my all-time favorite Musk interviews at the Code Conference from May 2016. At this point, Tesla was gaining traction and preparing to go mainstream, and reusable rockets weren’t such a crazy idea. In my opinion, this was the interview where the enormity of Musk’s ideas were unveiled, including colonization of Mars, humans augmented with artificial intelligence, and the importance of batteries to achieve sustainable energy.

The interviews that Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg did with both Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos were impressive. They are both contained in this post I wrote from August, 2016.

In addition to the hour interview above, Chris Anderson did an on-stage interview with Musk that is as entertaining as it is informative, especially if you’re interested in why Musk would want any part of buying and running Twitter.

As piece of bonus content, here is a link to my review of the Elon Musk biography written by Ashlee Vance. If you’re interested in a deeper understanding of his background, what drives him, and how he manages himself and his companies, then this book is a must read for you.

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