Tag: Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s Lab Working on Robot Writers!

Artificial Intelligence is a controversial subject. With technology advancing so rapidly, many fear that all the science-fiction stories about robots taking over the world may actually come true. And that debate doesn’t look like it will end with this newest development.

 

GPT-2 is one of the latest AI creations from OpenAI, a nonprofit lab backed by Elon Musk. It is a machine that could generate synthetic text samples and perform simple language tasks like answering questions and basic reading comprehension.

 

The project was announced in February and is still in development. OpenAI has stated that they are afraid to release the machine out to the public out of fear of the implications it could have, though they are willing to give researchers a smaller version to experiment with.

 

A reporter from The Guardian was able to observe the AI in action. When it was given the first line from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the machine began writing, albeit in a rambling version of Orwell’s style. The same thing occurred with other famous novels as well, so the AI still needs some work.

 

Still, the idea of a robot able to write is profound. Will we soon be reading books from robot authors?

 

You can read more about OpenAI’s machine here.

 

 

Featured Image Via Techworld

Elon Musk

5 of Elon Musk’s Favorite Science Fiction Stories

Elon Musk has been in the news lately, for better or worse. First, he offered to design a submarine to ferry away the Thai soccer team trapped in the cave. Then he raged and threw an infantile fit at a rescue leader for rejecting that submarine, calling him offensive names on Twitter. Then his company Tesla’s stocks hit some turbulence because of said tweet and some other bad press.

 

Musk has some issues, it’s true. But he’s not at fault for his tastes in sci-fi, which are excellent. Here are some of his favorites.

 

Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov

 

Foundation Covers

 Image Via Digital Trends

 

A set of classic science fiction novels concerning the fall of a Galactic Empire and one man’s attempts to predict the future accurately enough to forestall an interstellar dark age. The Foundation exists as a repository of human knowledge in order to save civilization itself and prevent an era of barbarism.

 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

 

A galactic hitchhiker

Image Via Paste Magazine

 

A comic masterpiece that starts with the Earth being demolished to make way for a space highway — and it only gets wackier from there. A novel that asks the important questions, like what is the meaning of life the universe and everything, and gets 42 as an answer in return.

 

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

 

Surface to Air Missiles

Image Via Pop-Verse

A future Lunar society facing food shortages rebels against the tyranny of Earth with the help of an artificial intelligence. Another science fiction classic by a member of the big three of sci-fi writers.

 

Culture Series by Ian M. Banks

 

Spaceship approaching a star.

Image Via Gizmodo

 

 

A series of novels and short stories centered around a utopian psuedo-anarchist spacefaring society ruled by benevolent intellects known as Minds. The stories often concern the Culture’s contact with other civilizations that don’t share their particular set of values. Several of SpaceX’s droneships were named after Minds from this series.

 

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison

 

A mutated man

Image Via Bloody Disgusting

A cautionary tale about the dangers of superintelligent artificial intelligence. In a word, terrifying. The AI at the center of this story wields godlike powers that he inflicts sadistically upon the last survivors of the human race.

 

Feature Image Via CNet

Elon Musk

5 Books Elon Musk Says You Must Read

Business Insider recently creeped through Elon Musk’s social media history and came up with a list of eleven books the billionaire thinks everyone should read. If you want to see the full list, check out the article, but if not, I’ve handpicked five that are absolutely, absolutely necessary.

 

1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Via Giphy

Via Giphy

 

Back in 2009, the New Yorker reported that “in [Musk’s] loneliness, he read a lot of fantasy and science fiction,” most notably, The Lord of the Rings. “The heroes of the books I read … I always felt a duty to save the world.”

 

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

 

Musk read this as a teenager, and became so engrossed in the book that when he first launched his Tesla Roadster into space, the words “Don’t Panic!” — which graced the cover of some early editions of the book — were shown on the car’s center screen. According to a 2015 interview, Musk’s favorite science fiction spaceship is from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, because it’s powered by an improbability drive.

 

3. The Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov

 

Elon Musk is quite the fan of fantasy, with another major series gracing the list. The books revolve around the fall of the Galactic Empire, a federation made up of millions of planets across the galaxy, settled by humans. A Musk-approved fantasy series sounds good to me, time to buy it on Amazon!

 

4. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

 

In 2014, Musk tweeted “We need to be super careful with AI,” that it’s “potentially more dangerous than nukes.” In “Do You Trust This Computer?”, a documentary about artificial intelligence, Musk said that AI could be used to create an “immortal dictator from which we could never escape.” Yikes. Bostrom’s book investigates what would happen if computer intelligence exceeded human intelligence.

 

5. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway

 

Now also a documentary, this book was written by two scientific historians, calling out scientists with political and industrial connections who are obscuring facts surrounding multiple public-health issues. Issues including, tobacco, pesticides, and the holes in the ozone layer. Musk recommended the book in a 2013 conference, saying the same forces that denied smoking causes cancer are now denying the danger of climate change.

 

Featured Image Via Medium. 

SpaceX dummy

Thanks to Elon Musk, These Books Have Become Astronauts Before You

Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy has successfully launched into space and is headed for Mars orbit. Aboard the massive rocket is Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster, a test-dummy called “Starman,” a bunch of David Bowie music, the words “Don’t Panic” (in reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) displayed on the Tesla’s panel, and a storage device containing sci-fi classics.

 

Besides The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference propelling through space, a device that SpaceX calls “5D quartz laser storage device…a high tech, high data storage unit that can survive the harsh environment of space” is also on the payload. This device contains Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy.

 

Foundation

Image Via Amazon

 

The Foundation trilogy is basically about the idea that humans have cracked the code and can predict and plan for the future. It’s kind of a nice idea that Musk stored copies of the novels aboard the first Falcon Heavy launch. It’s, you know, symbolic or whatever. People should have reason to be hopeful if Musk’s optimistic enough to be sending something like the Foundation series up into space.

 

Musk is a known bookworm, constantly recommending books, and apparently a Potterhead. SpaceX’s successful launch of the Falcon Heavy means we can soon send up massive payloads (up to 64 tonnes) at a relatively low price. But the most valuable part of the payload that was sent up on its premiere voyage was, of course, literature.

 

Feature Image Via Business Insider

Image Via CNN Money

Real-Life Tony Stark, Elon Musk, Is Apparently a Harry Potter Nerd

Inventor and business mogul Elon Musk treated tech junkies and Tesla fans to a SpaceX chat on Reddit this past Saturday, October 14th.

 

SpaceX is just another thing that Musk has founded. It’s goal is to reduce the cost of space travel and eventually create a colony on Mars. Knowing the engineering focus and background, it’s surprising that Musk’s Reddit chat had an amusing pop-culture twist. When a fan inquired about the heat source that would be used on the SpaceX Raptor engine, Musk replied that he planned to use the incendio spell from Harry Potter. He even included the wiki-link in the thread! Any Harry Potter fan knows that this spell is used to make fire.

 

Not to worry though, the South African engineer did follow up with a serious answer. He definitely didn’t become the tech titan that he is by using spells. (Or did he?) Another thread of chat also found Mr. Musk referencing kids pop culture. According to CNBC, when a redditor declared that it wasn’t possible to land on the moon using a certain engine, Musk responded, “Yes you can- Bob the Builder.” Interesting. I could have sworn that Dora the Explorer said it first. Who knew that Elon Musk was a Harry Potter fan! But I suppose when you’re a billionaire, you can make time for pleasure reading. Musk has had a total of 6 children, so he may not have earned all these cool points on his own. Regardless, there’s no doubt that now he has possibly expanded his following to include book nerds.

 

Fantastic!

Via Tenor.com

 

Featured Image Via CNN Money