Like most successful billionaires, Elon Musk is known to be a voracious reader. As the CEO of SpaceX, his vision has made an impact on the world, especially in the realm of science and technology. Musk’s reading list comprises of sci-fi classics and complex works on ground-breaking technologies. It comes as no surprise that he credits books as having played a profound role in shaping his think-tank towards technology. Musk is also known to share his recommendations on social media platforms.
As we move towards an era of singularity, where technology is creating a new epoch for life, industry and commerce, his reading list can serve to inspire the young and old alike into contemplating a better world in the near future. Based on insights from Blinklist Magazine, let’s assess some interesting reads from his recommendations.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Steve Jobs, like Musk, carved his own route in the tech business. The ambitious and adventurous life of Apple’s inventive entrepreneur and quirky creator is chronicled in this book. Drawing from Jobs’s earliest experiences with spirituality and LSD to his pinnacle as a worldwide tech icon, Steve Jobs describes the man’s successful ventures as well as the battles he fought along the way. This book is a well-researched read that delves into the mind behind what is considered the most valuable technology company in the world.
Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark
MIT scientist Max Tegmark discusses how to keep artificial intelligence useful to human life while also ensuring that technological advancement is compatible with humanity’s long-term aims. It’s one of the few novels Musk recommends that addresses the idea of AI being employed for good rather than evil in the world. The book starts with an intriguing “what-if” premise, telling the storey of the Omega Team, who secretly construct an AI named Prometheus with a deep devotion to assisting humanity. The narrative approach used by the author works really well to drive home the points that he wants to make about the future of AI.
The Big Picture by Sean M. Carroll
Musk is obsessed with humanity’s future and origins, as well as creating life that is multi-planetary. The Big Picture is an ambitious look at the world as we know it and how we can make sense of most of it using scientific thought. This book provides readers with a deductive approach to thinking about the most difficult topics that exist, such as the beginnings of life, awareness, and the cosmos itself. This book teaches readers how to think about the most difficult topics in philosophy, physics, and biology using a deductive and analytical approach. Sean Carroll is a practising theoretical physicist who brings some novel philosophical views to the table. Poetic Naturalism is a phrase that has been coined by Sean and is explored in the book.
Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom
Musk has cautioned about the hazards of unrestrained artificial intelligence on numerous occasions. In 2014, he tweeted, “We need to be extra careful with AI,” arguing it’s “possibly more destructive than nukes.” Musk recommends reading Superintelligence to learn why these threats are so frightening. The book is meant to be a serious, hard-headed analysis of the dangers connected with the likely advent, in the short- to medium-term future, of computers that are much smarter than we are. The book poses a provocative question: what would happen if computational intelligence overtook human intelligence?