Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is not known to shy away from offering opinions on almost all social topics. The 50-year-old billionaire has expressed before that he’s worried about artificial intelligence (AI) and plans to build a colony on Mars. As an extension of this concern, Musk now claims that “one of the biggest risks to civilisation" is that humans are not having more babies. “I can’t emphasise this enough, there are not enough people," he said at a Wall Street Journal event (via CNBC). Interestingly, his remarks come just days after a Lancet study ‘Fertility, mortality, migration, and population scenarios for 195 countries and territories from 2017 to 2100’ pointed out that the world’s population is on its way to a decline in a few decades for the first time in centuries. Currently, there are roughly 7.8 billion people on Earth that is said to peak in 2064.
At the event, Musk reportedly claimed that many “good, smart people" perceive the world to be overpopulated and are now deciding against having children. He claimed, “It’s completely the opposite. If people don’t have more children, civilisation is going to crumble. Mark my words." In case you’re wondering whether he practices what he preaches, Musk has seven children. His concerns also stem from reports that point out that climate change is directly or indirectly impacting the fertility rate in the US that some analysts at Morgan Stanley also reportedly do. UCLA researchers have shown that the number of births in the US dropped in the nine months after an extreme heat event.
Earlier this week, Musk announced that Tesla is looking for a “hardcore AI engineer" to solve problems that affect people directly. Although the requirement seems demanding, the application is quite basic and wants candidates to fill in their email, name, upload a resume, and explain what they have done so far. “We develop and deploy autonomy at scale in vehicles, robots and more. We believe that an approach based on advanced AI for vision and planning, supported by efficient use of inference hardware, is the only way to achieve a general solution for full self-driving and beyond," read the official website.