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11 March 2017 @ 01:52 am
Elon Musk Interview in Dubai  


That interview causes cognitive dissonance.
Of course UAE is an advanced country with GDP per Capita $43K (below the US, but above UK).
But UAE not exactly the most technologically advanced country. They are on a consuming side of technology.
So that interview was a little bit unexpected.

Both Elon Musk and the interviewer - Mohammed Al Gergawi (a Minister of Cabinet Affairs of the UAE) were a little bit nervous.
Al Gergawi mostly asked Musk his list of prepared questions (a pretty good list) and almost did not interrupt Musk. That resulted in a "psychologist session" for Musk: he drifted away from more generic questions (such as "why are you pushing the limits?") toward the topics he likes to tals about (how he made decision about building reusable rockets).

One time during interview Al Gergawi Musk and it added some embarrassment to both Musk and Gergawi:
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Al Gergawi: Why it is dangerous? I mean there is two view; one view is the artificial intelligence to help humanity, there is another school of think or thought is artificial intelligence as a threat to humanity. Why is it?

Elon Musk:
Well, I think it's both. You know – it's like – one way to think of it is, imagine we're going to be visited – imagine you're very confident that we're going to be visited by super intelligent aliens in, let's say, 10 years or 20 years at the most - super intelligent.

Al Gergawi:
So you think within 20 years ...

Elon Musk: Yeah so.

Al Gergawi: ... we'll have alien in Earth?

Elon Musk: [Surprised] Ha-ha. [Switching to a serious tone] Well, digital super intelligence will be like an alien.

Al Gergawi: It will be like an alien?

Elon Musk: Yeah.

Al Gergawi: But my question is: "do you think there is either intelligent life outside there"?

Elon Musk: It seems probable, but I think this is one of the great questions in physics and philosophy is where are the aliens; maybe they're among us, I don't know. Some people think I'm an alien. [Applause]
Not true. Not true.
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Transcript

Originally posted at: http://dennisgorelik.dreamwidth.org/127284.html
 
 
 
Anatoli Dontsovlamantyn on March 11th, 2017 03:48 pm (UTC)
> UAE not exactly the most technologically advanced country. They are on a consuming side of technology.

90% of US - consuming side.

Lunar Orbiter, Lunar Roving Vehicle were built by private company Boeing.
Does not matter who issues the check - USA government or UAE government.
Dennis Gorelikdennisgorelik on March 12th, 2017 02:46 am (UTC)
> 90% of US - consuming side.

If the US is 90% on the consuming side, then the UAE is ~99% on the consuming side of technology.
There are very few technologists in the UAE and it is noticeable.

> built by private company Boeing

I did not mean that US government built anything. I meant that the US as a population of a country - mostly built these technologies (batteries, solar panes, computers, rockets etc.).
And I know that Musk was actually born in South Africa, but he had good reasons to come to the US to work and do business.

> Does not matter who issues the check - USA government or UAE government.

It's interesting, what are the reasons for the UAE government to write that check to Musk?
Anatoli Dontsovlamantyn on March 12th, 2017 03:40 am (UTC)
it is a tiny country. 1.4 million citizens.
Comparable to Idaho.
I bet there are very few technologists in Idaho too.

> Musk was actually born in South Africa, but he had good reasons to come to the US

Wernher von Braun had good reasons too. :-)
I do not consider Musk (or Gates or Jobs or Brin) as a technologist.

> It's interesting, what are the reasons for the UAE government to write that check to Musk?

Investment diversification. They understand that oil may lose importance.
Dennis Gorelikdennisgorelik on March 12th, 2017 04:02 am (UTC)
> 1.4 million citizens.

The UAE population is 9.346 million (2013).

> Comparable to Idaho.

I think Idaho has more technologists than UAE.

> I do not consider Musk (or Gates or Jobs or Brin) as a technologist.

Why not?
They are (were) pushing technology forward.

> Investment diversification.

They go against Warren Buffett's (and other biggest investors') advice.
It's important to focus on what you do good.
The world would need oil and natural gas for many, many years ahead.
So UAE should focus on providing it to the world (while demand lasts). Let handle technology to the countries that are in a better position for that.
I would understand if the UAE would sponsor oil&gas drilling technologies though. But investing into Musk's enterprise seems like a mismatch for the UAE.
Anatoli Dontsovlamantyn on March 12th, 2017 04:09 am (UTC)
"In 2013, the UAE's population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expatriates_in_the_United_Arab_Emirates

"Americans in the United Arab Emirates form one of the largest Western expatriate communities in the UAE. Over 50,000 United States nationals reside in the UAE"