Elon Musk Presses for His Agenda

The billionaire CEO and influencer met with Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and the South Korean President on April 26 in the capital of American politics.

It was only a matter of time as his influence has become considerable.

Elon Musk went to Washington.

The billionaire has conquered the financial markets and the business world despite a unique style that sets him apart from the vast majority of CEOs.

When Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion in late October, he launched an unprecedented austerity cure. When he arrived, the platform had 7,500 employees. At the beginning of April, the billionaire indicated that 80% of these jobs had been eliminated. Twitter currently employs 1,500 people. 

In a recent interview, the tech mogul told the BBC that “drastic action” was needed because the social network was facing “a $3 billion negative cash flow situation.” He added that Twitter had only “four months to live.”

Since then, most tech groups, which had taken on a lot of people during the COVID-19 pandemic, have started cutting jobs to the delight of investors. This year, the tech industry has already shed 184,600 jobs, according to data firm Layoffs.fyi. Until Musk started laying off staff, tech companies were hesitant to announce job cuts.

‘Good And Evil’

The billionaire’s influence has just brought him to Washington, the capital of American politics. Musk announced that he met Chuck Schumer, the leader of the U.S Senate. The tech mogul and the powerful Democratic lawmaker spoke about artificial intelligence.

The billionaire, who had warned of the dangers of the revolutionary new technology, pleaded for the urgent regulation of AI.

“Met with @SenSchumer and many members of Congress about artificial intelligence regulation today,” the tycoon said on Twitter on Apr. 27. “That which affects safety of the public has, over time, become regulated to ensure that companies do not cut corners.”

He warned once again that “AI has great power to do good and evil. Better the former.”

Musk has said that AI is more dangerous for our civilization than nuclear weapons.

He recently called on the government to regulate it, after the worldwide success of ChatGPT, a conversational chatbot which provides elaborate humanlike answers to requests. 

“Good news! AI regulation will be far more important than it may seem today,” Musk applauded on Apr. 13, following a report saying that Schumer was laying groundwork for the U.S. Congress to regulate AI.

Last month, Musk went so far as to sign a petition with others, calling for a six-month or longer moratorium on the development of powerful new AI tools. The signatories of this petition, launched on Mar. 22, believe that the pause would provide time to put in place safety standards and to assess the dangers and risks that some of the most advanced AI tools would pose to our civilization.

The letter notably targets the next generation of technology from OpenAI, the Microsoft-funded startup, which developed the very famous ChatGPT. This next technology is GPT-5. Currently, OpenAI is on GPT-4 technology, and has already indicated that they have not yet started training GPT-5.

‘Good Meeting’

GPT-4 is already an advanced stage of artificial general intelligence, or AGI, which refers to AI systems that can emulate humans — basically, chatbots or robots that can perform any tasks that humans can do and even do them better.

The next generation of AI tools will do even more, critics have warned.

“Contemporary AI systems are now becoming human-competitive at general tasks, and we must ask ourselves: Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth?” said the open letter, titled “Pause Giant AI Experiments,” that Musk and 26,000 other people have signed at last check. “Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones? Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us?”

Now, the billionaire whispers in the ears of lawmakers. During his stay in Washington, the Chief Executive Officer of Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Free Report also met the South Korean president, Yoon Suk Yeol, who is on a state visit to the United States.

They met on Apr. 26. According to an English translation of the text from an official Youtube channel, Senior Secretary for Economic Affairs Choi Sang Mok said that this was an impromptu meeting, as Musk requested an interview during President Yoon’s visit.

President Yoon requested that Tesla invest in Korea, saying, “Korea has top-notch manufacturing robots and high-quality human resources,” and “a country where Tesla can achieve the highest efficiency in operating the gigafactory.”

“Good meeting,” Musk, who wore a suit and tie, commented on Twitter.

The two men previously had a a 30-minute video call last November.

Tesla already has a factory in Asia, but it is based in Shanghai. The vehicles built in this plant serve the Asian market. The carmaker recently announced the construction of a second factory in Shanghai, but this one will be a super battery manufacturing plant.

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