Jack Ma on AI era: more time to enjoy being human

The three-day World Artificial Intelligence Conference opened in Shanghai on Aug 29, with more than 300 speakers in attendance.

During a recent discussion with Alibaba chairman Jack Ma, Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX expressed his strong desire to colonize Mars. They sort of think like it's a smart human.

Musk, alternating between tech visionary and larger-than-life Bond villain, argued that AI will quickly surpass the human race; that civilization might finish and therefore humankind wanted to discover the cosmos (particularly Mars); and that persons are primarily dumb creatures circumscribed by genes. Both men had to condense their visions of the future into a compact 45-minute session, which also included answering a series of pre-prepared questions from Chinese netizens. "The most important mistake smart people make is that they think they're smart".

On the other hand, Musk stated that AI would make jobs pointless, and probably the last job that will exist for humans is writing AI software.

"Humans may become too slow".

Mankind's hope lies in "going along for the ride" by harnessing some of that computing power, Musk said, as he offered an unabashed plug for his Neuralink Corporation.

Ma likened the view that humans won't be able to compete with their machine inventions in most aspects of life-Musk's stance-to people of a century ago trying to out-run cars they manufacture. "They were each talking about their own separate topics". The best resource in the world is the human brain, he says, explaining: "It's impossible that humans could be controlled by machines". In 2017 he suggested that competition among nations in AI could lead to World War III.

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"I don't think AI is a threat", he said.

"Ma has said previously that 996 was a blessing".

Chinese firms such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu have all invested in the development of AI in recent years, leading to fears that China may overtake Europe and the United States in AI development.

Founded in 2003, Tesla is now building its first overseas factory in Shanghai, which is nearing completion and expected to start production by the year end with an initial annual output of 250,000 vehicles.

Oxbow Advisors managing partner Ted Oakley and Delancey Strategies President Jared Levy give their take on Tesla amid U.S.

The California-based electric vehicle maker Tesla has received a boost from the nation with the world's largest auto market-China.

According to China Daily, Tesla was also included in Shanghai's Pilot Free Trade Zone on August 20-a move that will place the company at a further financial advantage.

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