- REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Elon Musk would love to invest more money in genetics, but he definitely doesn’t want to live forever.
On stage at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Musk and Y-Combinator founder Sam Altman which new areas they would invest their money in if they had the chance.
Musk highlighted genetics and artificial intelligence as two areas that he’s not involved with that are “fraught with difficulty” but that he believes will most change the “destiny of humanity.”
Following up, Sorkin asked for Musk’s thoughts on what Larry Page is doing with Google Life Sciences, which professes the goal of “trying to cure death.”
“I’m not actually a huge proponent of longevity,” Musk replied. “I do think that having a good life for longer is better – we want to address things that can happen to you when you’re old, like dementia, that’s important – but I don’t know, I definitely don’t want to live forever.”
“How many years do you want to live?” Sorkin pressed.
“About 100 good ones,” Musk replied.
“100 good ones, or 100 more good ones? You’re 44.”
“100 good ones total,” Musk said. “Well, maybe a little bit longer.”
Sorkin, Musk, and Altman also talked about colonizing Mars.
Both Musk and Altman agreed that it is important for humanity to establish a self-sustaining city on the planet before it actually becomes a necessity. Although Musk did refer to finding a way for humans to live on Mars as a “collective life insurance policy” for when disaster eventually strikes, he wants us to get there much sooner.
“I want to be clear, I think we should be a multi-planet species, not a single planet species on another planet,” Musk said.
He also had some advice for Jack Dorsey, who was just appointed permanent CEO of Twitter as he continues to lead his other company, Square, which is preparing for an IPO. “I wouldn’t recommend running two companies – it really deceases your freedom quite a lot,” he said.