Born in June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, Transvaal (now Gauteng), South Africa, at age 46 Elon Reeve Musk, a scientist is already the entrepreneurial and visionary mastermind behind SpaceX, PayPal, Tesla Inc., SolarCity, OpenAI, The Boring Company, Neuralink, Zip2 and the envisioned high speed Hyperloop from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
The scary thing is that he’s just warming up.
Despite countless comparisons to Apple’s genius inventor Steve Jobs, it is the analogies to Iron Man’s alter ego Tony Stark that have stuck to South African-born billionaire Elon Musk like a super-powered exoskeleton.
Musk is a typical example of a 3rd & 4th industrial revolutionist as he is into artificial general intelligence, electric cars, solar energy, space travel, high speed transportation and neurotechnology. This guy ‘literately’ lives in the future. He has shaken up three established industries. In December 2016, Musk was ranked 21st on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People
2012 saw Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s successful return from its first commercial space flight to the international Space Station. His electric (Tesla S) luxury sedan was hailed as the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year and his SolarCity solar power company is at the forefront of the solar Industry. Just last month, a Tesla electric car made a record 1078 km distance on a single charge.
Officially verified as the first production electric car to exceed 1000km on a single charge! Congratulations Tesla Owners Italia!! https://t.co/r8fFZIFEP2
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 5, 2017
To understand Elon Musk’s contribution to humankind, one needs to look a little deeper at what he is about. What is his ‘one thing’?
He is a big promoter of electric cars and careful use of Artificial Intelligence. In 2014, Musk announced that Tesla would allow its technology patents to be used by anyone in good faith in a bid to entice automobile manufacturers to speed up development of electric cars.
Recently, Musk said the competition for artificial intelligence at a national level will likely cause World War 3. He said the war may be initiated by an AI if it decides that a preemptive strike is the most probable path to victory.
This he said in responded to a comment made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said whoever becomes the leader in artificial intelligence will rule the world.
“Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict,”
“If we become leaders in this area, we will share this know-how with the entire world, the same way we share our nuclear technologies today.”
Musk has warned that probably the biggest threat to humankind is the latest trending towards ‘artificial intelligence’, where man is looking at computers to do tasks that normally require human thinking.
Musk’s strategic outlook on life is pure potential power, ready to be unleashed. It reflects a man who is constantly looking to find out what is, and what is going to affect mankind the most, to then find out what is not working, and to then go and fix it. This has made him a kind of oracle for when this guy talks the world listens, and innovators and tech enthusiast are always trying to know what he is thinking.
What has distinguished Musk from other innovators and entrepreneurs is his interest in life’s big challenges. So far, he has done some pretty amazing things in his chosen fields of greatness – space, AI, internet and green technology.
Who is Elon Musk?
My answer: Elon Musk is a man who is fast changing the way of the world. A man who is even making Bill Gates look pedestrian, A South African born, who must probably rank right up there as Africa’s greatest export.
Updated (September 10, 2017)