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The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

Elon Musk has had a busy week.
AP

Elon Musk has had a busy week.

He met with Trump in the White House, surprisingly endorsed former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State and kicked off the second phase of his Hyperloop competition.

But in classic Musk fashion, he still set aside some time to talk about some of his more whimsical plans, like a tunnel under Los Angeles and "neural lace."

In that context, here's a round up of Musk's 13 craziest ideas yet. 

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

1. Musk has said he wants to begin sending humans to Mars by 2024.

AP
"We're establishing cargo flights to Mars that people can count on," he said. "The Earth-Mars orbital rendezvous is only every 26 months, so there'll be one in 2018; there will be another one in 2020. And I think if things go according to plan, we should be able to launch people probably in 2024 with arrival in 2025."

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

2. He has even shared his vision for a Martian government.

Asa Mathat | All Things Digital
"I think most likely the form of government of Mars would be a direct democracy, not representative," he said. "So it would be people voting directly on issues. And I think that's probably better because the potential for democracy is substantially diminished."

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

3. And he isn't merely interested in people surviving on Mars. He wants a thriving city to exist.

AP
Musk said in the Reddit AMA that he wanted the red planet to include everything from "iron foundries to pizza joints."

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

4. In September, Musk said anyone who goes on the first journey to Mars should be "prepared to die."

Space X | YouTube
"The first journey to Mars is going to be really very dangerous," he said. "The risk of fatality will be high. There's just no way around it."

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

5. But he's also said dying out in space wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

Tech Insider | Recode | NASA
"I think if you're going to choose a place to die, then Mars is probably not a bad choice," he said.

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

6. On that topic, Musk has said dissuading people from using self-driving cars is tantamount to killing them.

Jordan Strauss | Getty Images

Musk made those remarks when he was criticizing the media's coverage of accidents involving Tesla vehicles using Autopilot.

"One thing I should mention that is, frankly, it's been quite disturbing to me, is the degree of media coverage of Autopilot crashes," he said, adding that it "is basically almost none relative to the paucity of media coverage of the 1.2 million people that die every year in manual crashes.

"And think carefully about this because if in writing some article that's negative you effectively dissuade people from using autonomous vehicles, you’re killing people."

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

7. He also compared a company accepting liability for crashes involving self-driving cars to getting stuck in an elevator.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters
"No, I think that would be up to the individual's insurance," Musk said when asked whether Tesla would accept liability if its self-driving cars were to get in an accident. "Point of views on autonomous cars are much like being stuck in an elevator in a building. Does the Otis [Elevator Company] take responsibility for all elevators around the world? No, they don't."

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

8. But when he's not planning to send humans to Mars, Musk said, he regularly debates whether humans actually exist in another civilization's video game.

Scott Olson | Getty Images
"I've had so many simulation discussions it's crazy," he said. "In fact, it got to the point where basically every conversation was the AI-slash-simulation conversation, and my brother and I finally agreed that we'd ban any such conversations if we're ever in a hot tub. Because that really kills the magic."

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

9. But it's a worthy debate, because it's more probable than not that we are living in a simulation than actual reality, he said.

Lucy Nicholson | Reuters
"There's a billion-to-one chance we're living in base reality," he said.

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

10. In fact, humans should really hope we are living in some sort of simulation because things could get really ugly if not, he said.

Tech Insider
"Arguably we should hope that that's true, because otherwise if civilization stops advancing, that may be due to some calamitous event that erases civilization," he said. "So maybe we should be hopeful that this is a simulation, because otherwise ... We are either going to create simulations indistinguishable from reality or civilization ceases to exist."

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

11. The Tesla CEO also said humans were "already a cyborg."

OnInnovation | Flickr

Musk said our ability to have a digital presence through email and social media gives us "superpowers" like a cyborg. 

"You have more power than the president of the United States had 20 years ago," he said. "You can answer any question, you can video conference with anyone, anywhere. You can send messages to millions of people instantly. Just do incredible things."

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

12. What's more, though, he said we should take the whole cyborg thing even further and add a digital layer of intelligence to our brains to avoid becoming "house cats" to artificial intelligence.

Tesla Club Belgium | Flickr

"I don't love the idea of being a house cat, but what's the solution?" he said. "I think one of the solutions that seems maybe the best is to add an AI layer. A third, digital layer that could work well and symbiotically" with the rest of your body.

Musk said he may have an announcement on that digital layer, which he calls neural lace, next month.

The 13 Craziest Things Elon Musk Believes Right Now

13. In fact, Musk has said AI could be our "biggest existential threat."

Scott Olson | Getty Images
"So we need to be very careful with artificial intelligence," he said. "I'm increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don't do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence, we’re summoning the demon."