Elon Musk has been a busy man of technology this past year, and it appears he has some impressive developments on the horizon. Time reveals that Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Technologies will build a Hyperloop in the Las Vegas desert, which will become a test platform for the futuristic form of transportation.
The concept behind the Hyperloop is that special transportation vehicles will transport passengers through vacuum tubes at speeds as high as 750 miles per hour. Everything will be solar powered. USA Today reported in June that Elon Musk would hold a Hyperloop competition to find the best of the best for the dynamic project.
NBC News reports that Elon Musk has also confirmed that SpaceX will be launching its Falcon 9 rocket on December 19 from Cape Canaveral. Musk tweeted the news for the world to see.
Aiming for Falcon rocket static fire at Cape Canaveral on the 16th and launch about three days later
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 10, 2015
Currently looking good for a Sunday night (~8pm local) attempted orbital launch and rocket landing at Cape Canaveral
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 19, 2015
This comes just months after the devastating explosion that destroyed the previous rocket just two minutes after it launched.
Indeed, that incident is just one of many, both good and not so good, from a wild and crazy 2015 for Elon Musk. Inverse reports 10 events that defined Musk’s year. These include the negatives, such as the Falcon 9 explosion in June, the controversy over government subsidies received by Musk’s company Tesla, and Musk’s competition with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. The two have put their exchange on Twitter for all to see.
The rarest of beasts – a used rocket. Controlled landing not easy, but done right, can look easy. Check out video: https://t.co/9OypFoxZk3
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 24, 2015
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2015
Aside from the negative side of Elon Musk’s year, he has also had some very positive things happen. He unveiled his Model X car in September, has his Hyperloop on firm footing to begin construction of a track for testing, has encouraged rumors of a ride-share program for his cars, has begun construction of his Gigafactory to produce his transportation technology, has updated his Autopilot software, and won the government contract for a manned spaced mission. And of course, he appeared on The Big Bang Theory, which has to be the icing on the cake.
Elon Musk has also become involved in the tech area of artificial intelligence (AI). Time reports that Musk is helping to fund a new non-profit research organization called OpenAI, which will contribute to the growing science around the development of safe intelligent software and machines. The group outlined their goals in a statement.
“Our goal is to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return. We believe AI should be an extension of individual human wills and, in the spirit of liberty, as broadly and evenly distributed as is possible safely.”
Musk is teaming up with entrepreneurs, such as Sam Altman and Peter Thiel, and top engineers to make this project a reality. They made a group announcement about the excitement and difficulty of this venture.
“Artificial intelligence has always been a surprising field. The outcome of this venture is uncertain and the work is difficult, but we believe the goal and the structure are right. We hope this is what matters most to the best in the field.”
This is a subject that is near and dear to Elon Musk, who according to the Telegraph Journal, has expressed his concern over the potential dangers of AI.
“If I were to guess what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.”
BBC reported last year that even Stephen Hawking gave warning about the potential dangers of AI.
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
— J. J. Hillard (@Hillizard) December 13, 2015
Perhaps keeping the development of AI safe will end up being Elon Musk’s greatest contribution to humanity in the end.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]