You Might Agree With Elon Musk More Than You Know

You can call Elon Musk a lot of things, but don’t call him a “speciesist”…

Alphabet (GOOGL) co-founder Larry Page found out why at one of Musk’s birthday parties.

The tech moguls had been friends for at least a decade. Musk sometimes crashed on Page’s couch after playing video games all night. And on this night, they chatted by the fire…

Specifically, Musk and Page went back and forth on the topic of artificial intelligence (“AI”).

Page envisioned a world in which humans like himself, Musk, and the rest of us would coexist with AI machines. Notably, his vision also included a “survival of the fittest” concept.

Musk disagreed. He believed a competition with AI machines would wipe out humanity. And he felt passionately that humans should put safeguards in place to protect ourselves.

That’s when Page got personal and hurled the infamous insult at Musk. He accused Musk of believing all other things are inferior to humans. And Musk later called it “the last straw.”

As the New York Times recalled in December…

Many in the crowd seemed gobsmacked, if amused, as they dispersed for the night, and considered it just another one of those esoteric debates that often break out at Silicon Valley parties.

As far as anyone can tell, Musk and Page haven’t spoken since the disagreement.

But here’s the thing…

Musk’s party didn’t happen this year, last year, or even two years ago. It happened in 2015.

For the record, some sources say it actually occurred in 2013. Either way, the point stands…

Two of the world’s most powerful men fundamentally disagreed about humanity’s future at Musk’s birthday party roughly a decade ago. And the battle is still playing out today.

Musk is a polarizing figure. He’s arguably the most loved and most hated entrepreneur of the past century. I’m sure you’ve seen the media circus around the guy. It’s unavoidable.

At the same time, Musk is known for pushing technology to its limits. He’s a pioneer both on the ground and in space. And like them or not, all his companies strive to improve our lives.

In fact, Musk has used his own money to advance the AI space since before his fireside dispute with Page. He was among the early investors in DeepMind in 2012…

DeepMind focuses on “deep learning.” The company aims to teach AI machines how to do all sorts of things – from learning complex games and robotic processes to driving cars.

But even early on, Musk didn’t think that DeepMind’s founders worried enough about the dangers of AI for all of humanity. Then, Page’s Alphabet bought DeepMind in 2014.

That was one of the catalysts for the disagreement between Musk and Page a year later. Then, Musk helped launch a competitor in the AI space…


By now, I’m sure you’ve heard all about OpenAI. The company created the ChatGPT tool that burst onto the scene in late 2022. But it might’ve never happened without Musk…

You see, Musk pumped a ton of money into OpenAI starting in 2015. A group of investors pledged to put $1 billion into the lab. And the group lured a key AI developer from Alphabet.

Musk parted ways with OpenAI in 2018. But by then, the wheels were already in motion.

And today, my point is simple…

Without Musk’s efforts, we wouldn’t be living through the current AI revolution. He’s also one of the few people in the room actively fighting for humanity over robots.

So, next time you see Musk mention upcoming technology… take a moment to listen to him. There’s no question he’s polarizing. But it might turn out that you agree with him more than you realize.

Good investing,

Pete Carmasino

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