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23 May, 2023

Musk: Tesla will ‘strongly consider’ building Gigafactory in England

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In an interview for The Wall Street Journal, Musk says Tesla is preparing to look for a location to build a new battery factory later this year and would assess England as an option.

I will strongly consider England for a future location of a gigafactory. We are not currently looking at new locations but we will probably towards the end of this year.

Tesla already operates several production facilities in Fremont, California, Austin, Texas, Berlin, Germany, and Shanghai, China. A factory in Mexico was announced in early 2023, but ground has not been broken yet.

Musk details succession plans

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In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Musk discusses his succession plans, including potential successors, how to handle ownership control of his companies, his plan for an educational institution to control his shares, and how he will not automatically give his children shares in his companies:

Succession is one of the toughest, age-old problems. It’s plagued countries, kings, prime ministers, presidents and CEOs, since the dawn of history. There is no obvious solution.

There are particular individuals that I’ve told the board,  ‘Look, if something happens to me unexpectedly, this is my recommendation for who should take over.’ The board is aware who my recommendation is. It’s up to them of course.

I want to make sure the stewardship ultimately accrues the benefit of humanity. We’re not always successful in that, but that is aspirationally our goal. I have one idea that is partly in place, which is to create an education institution that would control most of my vote.

I am not of the school of automatically giving my kids some share of the companies, even if they have no interest, or inclination, or ability to manage the companies. I think that would be a mistake. It’s a very hard problem to solve.

Musk: AI could be ‘a danger’

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Musk warns that AI could be a danger to humans, calling it “a double-edged sword” and saying it is not “necessary for anything we’re doing.”

If you have a genie that can grant you anything, that presents a danger…

He thinks AI advances the end of empires and expects governments to use it for weapons development before anything else.

There’s a little late-stage empire vibes right now…So just having more advanced weapons on the battlefield that can react faster than any human could is really what AI is capable of. Any future wars between advanced countries or at least countries with drone capability will be very much the drone wars.

On AI’s potential for peace, he says:

One way to achieve world peace is to take all the weapons away from the humans so they can no longer use them. I don’t think the AI is going to try to destroy all humanity but it might put us under strict controls

In terms of politics and the upcoming US presidential election, he says:

One of the first places you need to be careful of where AI is used is social media to manipulate public opinion. I think it’s something we need to be on the lookout for in the way of minimising the impact of AI manipulation. We’re certainly taking that seriously at Twitter and I think we’re putting in all the protections to detect large-scale manipulation of the system.

17 May, 2023

Musk: ‘Working from home ‘morally wrong’

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During an interview with CNBC anchor David Faber, Musk criticises the hypocrisy of expecting service industry workers to go to work while others had the privilege of working from home, using a quote often attributed to Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France before the French Revolution.

There are some exceptions, but I think that the whole notion of work from home is a bit like the fake Marie Antoinette quote, ‘Let them eat cake’. It’s like, really, you’re going to work at home and you’re going to make the people who made your car come to the factory? You’ve got people who deliver your food, but they can’t work from home? The people that come fix your house, they can’t work from home, but you can? Does that seem morally right? It’s a productivity issue and a moral issue. Get off the goddamn moral high horse with the work-from-home bulls**t. The laptop class is living in la-la land.

Musk says that he works seven days a week, but doesn’t expect others to do that.

I’m saying put 40 hours in.

Musk: Tesla will have a ‘ChatGPT moment’ with full self-driving cars

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Comparing Tesla’s self-driving AI to OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot, which came to sudden public attention at the end of 2022, Musk says that a similar situation will happen when Teslas are able to drive themselves without human intervention.

I think Tesla will have sort of a ChatGPT moment, maybe if not this year, I’d say no later than next year…Suddenly, three million cars will be able to drive with no-one [at the wheel].

Musk says he envisions a future where millions of Tesla cars would operate autonomously, gradually expanding to three million, five million, and eventually 10 million self-driving vehicles. When owners are not using the vehicles, they will be used as Robotaxis, licenced by Tesla.

Comparing Tesla’s self-driving capabilities to Google’s Waymo, Musk says that while Waymo has achieved limited success in a tightly-mapped geographic area, Tesla has a more advanced and generalized solution. Musk argues that if Microsoft, and Tesla was tasked with producing a large language model akin to ChatGPT, his company would emerge victorious.

Musk may rehire fired Twitter staff

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During an interview with CNBC anchor David Faber, which is also broadcast as a Twitter space, Musk says he may rehire some of the staff he fired when he took over the company. At that time, Musk cut Twitter’s headcount by 80%, from 7,800 to about 1,500.

Some people who were let go probably shouldn’t have been. Desperate times call for desperate measures… Unfortunately, if you do it fast, there are some babies who will be thrown out.

Musk to build ‘TruthGPT’ AI platform

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In an interview with Carlson, Musk says he is planning to build an alternative to ChatCPT, which he claims has been trained to lie. Musk says that OpenAI, which built ChatGPT, has now become a closed source, for-profit organization that’s far removed from the startup he helped found.

I’ve been thinking about AI since I was in college…I think I will create a third option, although I’m starting very late in the game…I’m going to start something which I call TruthGPT or a maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe. I think this might be the best path to safety, in the sense that an AI that cares about understanding the universe is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe.

Musk also says he supports the regulation of artificial intelligence.

AI is more dangerous than, say, mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance or bad car production in the sense that it has the potential, however, small one may regard that probability, but it is not trivial; it has the potential of civilizational destruction

Elon Musk tells Tucker his plans to create a ‘TruthGPT’ AI platform

16 Apr, 2023

Musk: US Government had access to Twitter DMs

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In a trailer for his interview with Carlson, Musk says the US authorities had full access to everything that happened on Twitter, including users’ private messages . Everything that happened on the social network was monitored by “various government departments.”

Musk: The degree to which various government agencies had effectively full access to everything that was going on at Twitter blew my mind. I was not aware of that.
Carlson: Would that include people’s DMs?
Musk: Yes

7 Mar, 2023

Musk ‘not saying’ Starship will get to orbit

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SpaceX will debut its Starship vehicle in a month or so, but the chances of its first-ever orbital mission being a success are apparently only about 50%.

I’m not saying it will get to orbit, but I am guaranteeing excitement. So, won’t be boring!…So I think we’ve got, hopefully, about an 80% chance of reaching orbit this year. It’ll probably take us a couple more years to achieve full and rapid reusability.

According to Musk, Starship will be the most powerful rocket to ever fly, featuring about 2.5 times more thrust at liftoff than NASA’s Saturn V. SpaceX hopes that, among other things, Starship will get people and cargo to the moon and Mars. It is designed to be fully and rapidly reusable, which Musk considers the most important breakthrough for making Mars colonization and other ambitious exploration feats feasible.

New Elon Musk Interview with Timestamps. Morgan Stanley Interview 2023. Twitter, Tesla & SpaceX.

 

21 Dec, 2022

Musk: Twitter to break even in 2023

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Musk explains Twitter’s financial situtaion during a Twitter Spaces chat, saying that after cutting staff and costs, Twitter is now on track to bring in around $3 billion in revenue in 2023 – roughly $2 billion less than the $5.1 billion reported at the end of 2021, while the company has $1 billion in cash on its balance sheet. He in part blamed the $12.5 billion in debt tied to his April agreement to buy the company, as well as the Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate hikes.

[It was like being] in a plane that is headed towards the ground at high speed with the engine on fire and the controls don’t work…With the changes that we’re making here on massively reducing the burn rate and building subscriber revenue, I now think that Twitter will, in fact, be OK next year, I think we will be…roughly cash-flow break-even — that’s what I expect for next year.

He says advertisers have been asking “sane” but “tough” questions about their return on investment,

[Decisions] may seem sometimes spurious or odd or whatever. It’s because we have an emergency fire drill on our hands. That’s the reason. Not because I’m naturally capricious. Or at least, aspirationally, I’m not naturally capricious.

Elon Musk Discusses Twitter Tech Stack, Free Speech and Looming Bankruptcy in Twitter Space 12/21/22

14 Nov, 2022

Musks says he has ‘too much work on his plate’

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In a videolink interview for the B20 Indonesia conference in Bali, Musk, who is wearing a traditional batik shirt sent by the event’s organizers, says that has too much work:

You know my workload has recently increased quite a lot. I mean, I have too much work on my plate that is for sure. No doubt about it

When asked about his thoughts on other business leaders in Asia who wish to become the “Elon Musk of the East” the Tesla CEO says:

I’d be careful what you wish for. I’m not sure how many people would actually like to be me. They would like to be what they imagine being me, which is not the same thing as actually being me. The amount that I torture myself is next level, frankly.

Musk also noted that longer video content is coming to Twitter.

Twitter for sure, I think it’s gonna be a lot more on video… And it’s kind of a no-brainer to enable longer video and also enable content creators to make a living with content on Twitter

Elon Musk 🔴Full Live Interview at B20 Indonesia 2022 | G20 di Bali

7 Oct, 2022

Proposes China-Taiwan peace plan

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In an interview with The Financial Times, Musk talks about his plan for China-Taiwan relations

My recommendation … would be to figure out a special administrative zone for Taiwan that is reasonably palatable, probably won’t make everyone happy. And it’s possible, and I think probably, in fact, that they could have an arrangement that’s more lenient than Hong Kong.

3 Apr, 2022

Ferry engine fears

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Concerns are growing about engines purchased for the two Calmac ferries more than five years ago. Despite costing four million pounds, the state run Ferguson shipyard has never tested them. The process of testing allows ships engines to be both assessed and prevented from losing condition. It has been revealed that the first time this will be done is late summer 2022 which may be too late and they may seize up. Dr Spyros Hirdaris a head of Maritime Safety:

There is a high possibility that the ferry engines won’t work and it seems very high risk to expect everything will go according to plan. If you have a car for a long time and never switch on the engine it’s probably not going to work. It’s extremely important the engines are tested on board so it’s not a good thing that they haven’t been tested for all this time. They should have tested the functionality of the engines. There could be problems because the engines have been there for a long time. The engines could halt, there could be malfunctions in some of the sub-systems, there could be problems with lubrication and corrosion of engine components.There are a number of things that may not work, for example the dual-fuel system may not operate properly because it’s such a long time since it has been tested.

8 Feb, 2022

Sturgeon: Johnson should resign, says she nearly resigned

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In an interview with Sky Sturgeon says that she had considered quitting her job last year whilst she was being investigated for breaching the ministerial code. She said that the position of First minister like that of Prime Minister was a privilege not something to be taken for granted and where you are found to have broken the standards required of the job, you have to be willing to step aside.

My own personal experience this time last year – I was being accused in a completely different context, of having breached the ministerial code. I should say I was found by an independent adviser, and in an independent report, not to have breached the ministerial code. But when that was ongoing, I had within myself to ask myself some serious questions and I had came to the conclusion in my mind, that had I been deemed to have breached the ministerial code – I didn’t think I had – but if an independent person had said I had, then in the interest of the office I hold and in the interest of the country, I at that point would have resigned.I’m sure it would have been really difficult and I’m glad that didn’t come to pass. But these responsibilities are heavy responsibilities, and they require all of us in these offices to contemplate things that perhaps others might think is difficult to imagine.

She also says Boris Johnson should resign.

I think if Boris Johnson has decency and integrity, however difficult it may be, he will reach the conclusion that the time is right for him to step aside.

25 Jan, 2022

‘I feel a responsibility to talk about menopause’

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In an interview with The Shift podcast, Sturgeon says she is ambivalent about discussing the menopause in public:

We talk about the menopause much more, and I’m very conscious of being a woman with a profile and a platform, a fair degree of influence, so I feel a responsibility – given that I’m at that age – to talk about it myself. And yet even talking about it like this, I am so far out of my comfort zone, in terms of the intensely personal nature of it. That tells me no matter how far we’ve come in this discussion, we still have a long way to go that somebody like me still feels kind of uncomfortable with it. ven though there is more information available than there has ever been before, there’s still a massive amount of guesswork about it. We’re still all feeling our way through it.

Asked how she might deal with a hot flush during a work meeting:

I would like to think I would be open about it. If you look around the world, there’s not been that many women leaders … I guess Angela Merkel must have gone through when she was in office, Hillary Clinton … so if you’ve got that platform, then I would like to think I would use that positively, but I’m also a human. So I’ve got windows open in the depth of winter, my poor husband is shivering. I’ve thought to myself: what if that happens when I’m on my feet in parliament in the middle of first minister’s questions? What would I do? That could happen any time. I’m not sure I will know the answer to that question until it happens. Maybe male opposition leaders should be thinking about what I will do, as well

She says that she has already had a conversation with her doctor about taking hormone replacement therapy.

‘I often think the world would be a much better place if it were ruled by women’

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Sturgeon, speaking on The Shift podcast, says the world would be a “better place” if it were ruled by women and that females are still forced to work “twice as hard” as men to be taken “even half as seriously”.

I went through periods in life – and still go through periods in life now – where that sense of [ambition] is challenged and I doubt it more. I have spoken to a lot of women who feel this, friends and other women who would articulate exactly the same thing here…You really have to work so much harder to prove yourself so much more, to be taken probably half as seriously – particularly in the profession I’m in – as your average man. It can be tiresome are wearisome that we still have to do that but I’ve come to the conclusion in my life that it’s actually quite a good thing. Because you end up being better [than the men], because you work a lot harder and you have to really go so much further to prove yourself and be taken seriously. I have to be careful that doesn’t sound like an argument for women always having to struggle more to be taken seriously, because it shouldn’t be like that…But when you see women, and I’m not talking about myself here I’m talking about other women in senior positions: by and large, they’re better than their equivalent man and, more often than not, they’ve had to push themselves a lot harder to get to where they are. I often think the world would be a much better place if it were ruled by women.

15 Jan, 2022

Brown: Irish independence led to 50 years of austerity

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In a podcast interview called Finding Common Cause Online, hosted by Our Scottish Future, Brown talks about 50 years of austerity and division after Irish Independence.

He also says that although Ireland was now financially better off, a great deal of its wealth was insecurely based on offering lower rates of taxation than other countries a situation that could change quite easily.

10 Jan, 2022

Scotland Tonight: How do we learn to live with Covid?

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Sturgeon is interviewed on Scotland Tonight, where she suggests the Scottish Government was planning for a long-term shift away from extensive curbs.

Sometimes when you hear people talk about learning to live with Covid, what seems to be suggested is that one morning we’ll wake up and not have to worry about it anymore, and not have to do anything to try to contain and control it. That’s not what I mean when I say ‘learning to live with it’. Instead, we will have to ask ourselves what adaptations to pre-pandemic life – face coverings, for example – might be required in the longer-term to enable us to live with it with far fewer protective measures.

I would say that, but for the protective measures we introduced before Christmas and but for the very responsible behaviour of the public, I think we would be in an even more challenging situation right now…Some of our projections pre-Christmas have not quite come to pass because we’ve managed to mitigate to some extent what the Omicron wave would otherwise have presented for us.

Leitch doubts effectiveness of Sturgeon lockdown

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Leitch confirms that Sturgeon’s stringent lockdown measures, which have financially affected Scottish football clubs and nightclubs, have made no difference to the spread of Covid. Scottish football is losing £2 million per week in lost revenue whilst Scotland maintains a similar level of infection to England.

If you want to do the comparison, Northern Ireland’s number is much higher than ours. Wales is higher. England and Scotland is very similar. We were lower than them, now they’re catching up a little bit.

Despite this, he maintains it is correct to continue in a similar manner on the basis that the weekly figures are just a snapshot and that in the longer term, Scotland will begin to see the benefits.

Should we still be protecting the public from these case rates if they are just going to go anyway? I think ‘yes’ is the answer to that. I think the protections reduce the size of the wave and potentially also elongate the wave to allow more people to get vaccinated and spread the hospitalisations and intensive care cases out over a longer period.