Dubai: Elon Musk spoke at length about bringing in AI regulations and his plans for the new Twitter CEO which grabbed the attention of the media. But apart from that, Musk also spoke about aliens, 80 hour work week and why college is a waste of time.
Top 5 things Elon Musk spoke at World Government Summit
Supervise children's use of social media
Musk advised parents to supervise their children's use of social media and be aware of the algorithms that could program them. He suggested that parents should take note of what their children are watching and intervene if they disagree with the content.
I think, probably, one needs to supervise children's use of social media, and be wary of them getting programmed by some algorithm written in Silicon Valley.
The famous 80-hour work week
The 51-year-old billionaire shared his work ethic and noted that he sleeps six hours a night and works seven days a week. He admitted that his schedule was excessive and that he would like to work less if possible.
I do have work a ridiculous amount, I think relative to most people, and that it's pretty much seven days a week. And I think frankly, I would like to work a bit less than that.
Critical thinking and education system
Musk questioned the current education system, stating that some classes, like advanced mathematics, are not useful for most people. He suggested that instead of teaching subjects that are unlikely to be useful in real life, critical thinking should be taught to children at a young age to help them distinguish truth from falsehood.
“Most people, I think, do not find advanced mathematics useful and are unlikely to find it useful in their life. Or the elements that they do find useful can be taught very quickly as general principles. Critical thinking is something that should be taught to children at a relatively young age, as effectively like a mental firewall to really think about when somebody tells you something, is it cogent? Is it true or what is the probability that is true? And so that you can be taught to reject things that are untrue, or more likely to be untrue, and favourite things that are more likely to be true."
Concern about single world government
The Chief Twit expressed concern about too much cooperation between governments, stating that it could lead to a civilizational risk. He clarified that he was not advocating for war, but that too much unity could cause the whole system to collapse.
If we are too much of a single civilization, then the whole thing may collapse.
Aliens and the Fermi paradox
Finally, Musk spoke about his fascination with aliens and the Fermi paradox. He stated that the absence of aliens could indicate that civilization and consciousness are fragile, like a tiny candle in a vast darkness that could easily be blown out.
"I do find the whole question of aliens a very interesting one...I don't think anyone knows more about space than me or at least the space technology...So I think it's actually a troubling thing if there are no aliens, what that could actually mean is that civilization and consciousness are like a tiny candle in a vast darkness and a very vulnerable tiny candle that could easily get blown out."