How Elon Musk is Shaping the Future of Tech
By Francesco Galletti
2050 might as well be the year I will be checking my friend’s Facebook messages from Mars.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me that in recent years there haven’t been any ground breaking advancements in the tech industry. Other than some new Snapchat filters and being able to truly buy anything online, the general public's perception is that the rate of innovation in tech has slowed down.
Seeing that I am passionate about what the future of the tech industry will look like, I have gathered some of the most significant discoveries in the tech world that might just change my friend’s mind. These new groundbreaking discoveries have opened up the world to underestimated markets such as the electric car industry and the impact of artificial intelligence.
One of the most renowned experts in the tech industry is the South African-born billionaire Elon Musk, currently CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, and member of several other companies such as Neuralink. Ranked in 2016 as the 21st most powerful person in the world by Forbes, Musk has helped make exceptional advancements in the world of tech.
He has transformed the automotive industry in less than ten years and succeeded in making electric cars viable that a day does not go by without seeing someone driving in a Tesla. Owning 20.5% of its equity, through Tesla Elon is revolutionizing the way that people think about electric vehicles, and with that, he has successfully transformed the entire electric cycle, from production to consumption.
Overview of Elon Musk's Business Ventures Visual Data
One can buy a solar roof from Tesla Energy that is indistinguishable from a traditional rooftop and has tiny solar panels installed inside. This solar technology has improved so much that no matter how cloudy or cold it is, these solar roofs can produce a significant amount of electricity. This means that the customer won’t need to buy almost any electricity from the grid anymore, often allowing to sell the extra electricity back to electric companies.
This electricity can then be used for anything, such as charging your Tesla. The newest Model S can charge in less than an hour at the right charger and can go for about 400 miles. Also, being fully autonomous-ready cars, the idea of driving a car will soon become obsolete.
Musk got himself into the aerospace manufacturing industry by founding SpaceX and owning 54% of its equity. SpaceX plans to revolutionize space technology and accelerate humanity’s path towards a multi planetary life. The company has made some of the most noteworthy advancements in the space industry since the 70s, by re-using a rocket that has previously landed on Earth after being in orbit.
This, which was never done before, was able to cut NASA’s costs by over 20% per launch. It created a domino effect which resuscitated an industry that felt underwhelming after the man first landed on the moon almost 50 years ago. Through SpaceX, Musk will bring the first set of astronauts to Mars around 2022.
Overview of Elon Musk's Business Ventures
Elon has decided to be part of Neuralink where they are trying to create the first implantable brain-computer interface. This would solve humanity’s biggest problem. Neuralink has yet to deliver any meaningful product, but progress has been made. With the rise of Artificial Intelligence, a future where machines will be better, faster, and more accurate than humans at doing everything is fast approaching.
To be fair, humans are too slow. We make too many mistakes, we take too long to communicate, and often our results are inconsistent like shown in a study where medical specialists of eye diseases have disagreed with their own diagnosis 35% of the time.
Neuralink would connect the brain to a computer interface, allowing us to take advantage of the strengths of computers and chips, while still having a full fledged brain. This would not only allow for faster input but most importantly would allow us to have millions of times faster output. We take in 72Gb of information per second only through our eyes, not considering the rest of our body constantly gathering information.
However, we can tap on a screen few bytes per second through our fingers, and speak about 7 thousand bytes per second through our mouth. That means our output is hundreds of millions of times slower than our input. This makes us incredibly slow.
Imagine a future in which we can transfer concepts to us through a computer interface, so we could use Bluetooth or a USB drive to store information and pass it from brain to brain at a speed never seen before. This is what Neuralink is trying to do and although it may sound like sci-fi, a quick Google research will make you realize it is coming faster than people think.
The general public thinks of this as distant future, but already three years ago the American start-up Emotiv found a way to create a wireless, beautifully designed, small headset that would read brainwaves and allow the user to basically talk a computer through thinking. The media caught up after a TED talk went viral in which a person from the audience was chosen and, by wearing the headset, was able to tell the computer to make a 3D model of a cube disappear, without any type of coding. This was just the first step to having an instant connection to a computer, like never seen before.
These are just some of the areas where tech is really thriving. Image recognition, machine learning, faster computers, and a deeper understanding of what is around us have allowed us to start a period of exponential progression towards a future so exciting, 2050 might as well be the year I will be checking my friend’s Facebook messages from Mars.
Image Source: NASA