Elon Musk says that, although life probably does exist somewhere in space, it hasn’t been to earth yet. Musk’s remarks were made at the Shanghai Expo Center in China where the eccentric tech mogul, head of SpaceX and Telsa CEO attended the 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference. The event began with an onstage debate between Musk and Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba, a type of Amazon.com firm for China. The two billionaires exchanged their views on space travel, artificial intelligence, colonization of Mars, the impending apocalypse, and the likelihood that we are being visited by extraterrestrials.
Musk dismissed the possibility that extraterrestrials have visited earth. “There are people out there who think we have found aliens,” he said. “Trust me, I would know. We have not. People ask me if I’ve been to Area 51. Ok, please. SpaceX actually has Area 59 and it’s ‘eight’ better than Area 51.”
Musk theorizes that extraterrestrials have not visited us because, if intelligent life has developed elsewhere in the galaxy, it has probably pursued the same suicidal path that humanity is on. The likelihood of intelligent races self-destructing before they achieve technology advanced enough for space travel is one of the factors in the famous Drake Equation which tries to calculate the odds of contact with alien civilization — a duration of time some scientists estimate to be less than 420 years. According to this idea, the reason we have not had contact with extraterrestrials is that, like human beings, the aliens inevitably kill themselves off or suffer extinction from natural disasters before becoming advanced enough to develop space travel or send interplanetary communications. Musk takes that as a warning for humanity and urges us to press toward Mars colonization so that human consciousness has some hope of continuing even after the earth becomes uninhabitable from future apocalyptic events.
Musk doesn’t sound very optimistic about the future under our robot overlords either. He anticipates Artificial Intelligence will far eclipse human intelligence. But he is optimistic about colonizing Mars. Watch the whole conversation here.