Mathias Döpfner: Wolfgang Schäuble, a clever German politician, said: “If there is any absolute value in our Basic Law, then that is human dignity. It is inviolable. But it doesn’t rule out the fact that we have to die. ”
Elon Musk: Everyone has to die.
Döpfner: Everyone has to die, but human dignity has to be protected. Even in times of Corona. Did you change your mind about the virus during your own infection?
Musk: No, not really.
Döpfner: How will the situation be next summer? Is the Vaccine the Solution?
Musk: We’ll have so many vaccines that we won’t know what to do with them.
Döpfner: And there are positive effects on cancer research.
Musk: The development of vaccine technology is currently being equipped with a turbo. MRNA vaccines are particularly interesting because they could also be potential cures for cancer. I am thinking of the work of Biontech, Curevac, Moderna; mRNA is the future of medicine. You can basically treat anything with mRNA. It’s like a computer program, a synthetic virus, so to speak. And you can program it to do whatever you want. You could even transform yourself into a butterfly.
Döpfner: This technology will also be an enormous boost for the economy.
Musk: Yes, these companies are given a lot of money. And as for Corona: We have gotten a lot better at testing. The technology has improved tremendously.
Döpfner: Would you agree that there are three priorities: 1. that we have to strengthen and expand human intelligence in its possibilities; you contribute to this with Neuralink; 2. That we need good governance to ensure that such super-intelligence is not in the hands of a few; 3. That we need a flexible, agile, i.e. faster form of regulation?
Musk: Yeah, absolutely.
Döpfner: What role will China play in this context? China has completely different ideas than the West. Only what serves the well-being of the central government and the Communist Party is in fact supported. Ethical concerns, democracy or freedom and human rights do not play a role. In the end, isn’t regulation an instrument that discriminates against the West and favors China because it in part does not share our ethical standards? Does totalitarian China have an advantage in the arms race for supremacy in artificial intelligence?
Musk: In my experience, the Chinese government is very accessible to the people in China. Whenever I meet with Chinese government officials, they are always very concerned about the well-being of the people. Although there is only a kind of one-party system in China, there is – and this seems ironic – very much concerned about the well-being of the people. They may even react more sensitively to public opinion there than I am used to in the USA.
Döpfner: I would like to disagree massively with you for the first time in our conversation. China does not seriously care about human rights, freedom and the individual. Do you see any chance that Western democracies can win the arms race against China? How do you think China, America, East and West will deal with AI? Who rules whom?
Musk: Google and DeepMind, which belongs to Google, are the world’s leading companies in the field of artificial intelligence. I don’t even know who comes after. The Chinese are trying very hard. You may also make progress. But they don’t come close to Google and DeepMind.
Döpfner: Let’s see. I think they’ll catch up at the speed of light. Will the new American administration fundamentally change the policy towards China? Or will Biden continue the Trump administration’s China policy?
Musk: I’m not sure what policy Biden has towards China. Some things Trump did certainly made sense. I am thinking, for example, of his insistence on the equality of tariffs. I didn’t necessarily agree with all of the methods, but I agree with the concept: we must fight for low and symmetrical tariffs. And we should do that worldwide.
Hope you get it. #education #hopeful #BeOpen