"As technology accelerates, it may one day surpass human understanding and control. Some are optimistic and some are pessimistic. But I believe that as long as we are not complacent and always maintain a sense of urgency, the future of humanity will be bright, driven by the power of technology," Musk wrote, according to a translation of the essay by Yang Liu, a journalist from the state-owned Xinhua News Agency. "It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy: if humans want to make the future good, they should take action to make it good."
The billionaire's essay welcomes "more like-minded Chinese partners" to join him in exploring efforts including clean energy, artificial intelligence, human-machine collaboration and space exploration.
Below is a FOX Business roundup of the essay's highlights.
The Tesla chief executive's essay starts by urging humanity to do more to invest in the transition to sustainable energy.
"The faster this transition is achieved, the less risk humanity poses to the environment and the more it will gain," he explains. "When clean energy is available, carbon sequestration and desalination will be cheaper, climate change and water shortages will be solved, and when fossil fuels are out of the picture, the skies will be cleaner, the world will be quieter, the air will be fresher, and the future will be brighter."
According to Musk, the world needs about 300 terawatt hours of battery storage to achieve the transition to sustainable energy. One terawatt equals one trillion watts.
"I believe that the world will transition to a sustainable future through a combination of solar and wind energy plus battery storage and electric vehicles," he adds. "I am pleased to see more and more companies joining this field. Chinese companies will be a force to be reckoned with in the cause of energy innovation."
When Musk introduced Tesla's humanoid robot at its AI Day last year, he explained it would be used to replace people in repetitive, boring and dangerous tasks. However, in the new essay, he said his vision is for robots to eventually serve millions of households through tasks such as cooking, mowing lawns and caring for the elderly.
"Achieving this goal requires that robots evolve to be smart enough and for us to have the ability to mass produce robots," Musk explained. "We plan to launch the first prototype of a humanoid robot this year and focus on improving the intelligence of that robot and solving the problem of large-scale production. Thereafter, humanoid robots’ usefulness will increase yearly as production scales up and costs fall."
Musk teased that Tesla home bots could one day be cheaper than cars and become a potential birthday gift in less than a decade.
"It is foreseeable that with the power of robots, we will create an era of extreme abundance of goods and services, where everyone can live a life of abundance," Musk continued. "Perhaps the only scarcity that will exist in the future is for us to create ourselves as humans."
Musk is expected to discuss developments with the robot more at Tesla's AI Day: Part II on September 30.
Musk also touted the work of his company Neuralink, which he says is "helping injured people on an individual level" through the development of implantable brain–machine interfaces.
He believes that Neuralink's technology will be used to cure or alleviate brain injuries and other related disorders, such as severe depression, morbid obesity, sleep problems and underlying schizophrenia.
"This technology could allow humans to effectively integrate with artificial intelligence and ultimately expand new ways for humans to interact with the world, themselves and others," he added. "Even if the goal of human-machine integration is difficult to achieve, brain-machine interface technology could be of great value in the field of medical rehabilitation."
Lastly, the founder and CEO of SpaceX discusses the company's efforts to make humans interplanetary.
"The first step toward interplanetary habitat is to reduce the cost of travel, which is what SpaceX was founded to do — first by building recoverable rockets and then by building reusable mega-ships with ever-increasing carrying capacity," Musk says.
SpaceX has successfully reused at least 79 rockets to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and send people to space. In addition, the company is developing its Starship launch vehicle, which is expected to one day carry 100 passengers and supplies to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Musk predicted during a presentation in February that Starship could launch from Texas for less than $10 million per flight within two or three years.
"In the future, we plan to build at least 1,000 Starships to send groups of pioneers to Mars to build a self-sustaining city," he added.