Echoing a joke from 2006 movie Knocked Up, the Tesla and SpaceX chief says the simulators ‘are probably not that different from what we actually are’
Elon Musk doesn’t play well with others.
Last week, as a bugcrunch of the Tesla Energy team reported that a recent prototype of the Powerwall residential battery did not charge between 2am and 6am, when most people in the US, including those in Musk’s presence, were asleep, the Atlassian co-founder Ben Golub razzed him.
After shipping a prototype one night early last week, the batteries didn’t charge by 5am. The Powerwall team knew that for a variety of reasons that the batteries didn’t turn on – including no energy load – so they assured an audience at an event in San Jose that the batteries would actually work the following day. That didn’t happen.
But much of the technology that helps make that faulty battery work, such as algorithms that switch off both the grid-connected battery and the backup battery, was not really in the original prototype.
Musk plays along with the joke.
Tesla’s Elon Musk: perhaps the worst kind of consumer advocate Read more
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) Funny how the people who wish us dead don’t sleep well.
In a tweet, Golub added: “Automated Meters are just awesome.”
In another tweet, Musk added: “I do actually believe that science fiction could be a bit of a reality.”
Last week Musk also made a similar joke in response to a reporter asking whether the failure of the Supercharger wall boxes at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a critical hub for EV adoption, was a failure for Tesla or electric vehicles.
“Probably the failure is definitely not a Tesla problem,” he wrote. “Unnecessary government mandated charging locations are a complete and total failure.”
The author of The Grand Design, the 2015 book that Musk cites as the basis for his beliefs that human civilization is not really real and that we are not alone in the universe, wrote an essay recently arguing that we are living in an artificial simulation.
“The best way to think about artificial intelligence in the short term is to consider it as an enormous benign computer simulation,” wrote Stephen Hawking, Hawking’s son Robert and others, in a New York Times op-ed.
Others, such as Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow, have criticized the idea of a simulated universe and the banality of reality-independent AI. “For all the conspiratorial talk about how our entire civilization might be made up of trillions of software bits, sentient alien minds and parallel time loops, we’re not paranoid when we suppose that it might be an adventure from a video game,” he wrote.
Musk, who owns a cameo in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, has previously used the recent release of “Hamilton” as a metaphor for life on Earth.
When he was asked about the confusion over possible interstellar travel earlier this month, he replied: “Think of ‘Hamilton.’ Imagine the world was waiting to see whether that play was a fake or an absolute delight. It was an absolute delight, and if you go back and watch it again, it’s a delightful play.”