Elon Musk says that China is ‘going to be great’ at AI development
Musk appeared in a video segment at China's World AI Conference (WAIC).
Musk made his comments at the World AI Conference (WAIC), an event hosted by Chinese authorities to highlight Beijing’s AI ambitions.
During an eight-minute video segment, Musk said:
“China is going to be great at anything it puts its mind into. That includes many different sectors — sectors of the economy, but also artificial intelligence.”
Musk did not directly address the potential impact of U.S. export restrictions in his speech. Currently, there are ongoing concerns over U.S. semiconductor export restrictions, which have hindered China’s AI development efforts and also created shortfalls in other areas such as cloud computing services.
The SCMP also noted that the Biden administration is seemingly working on a plan to limit U.S. investments in Chinese AI, as first reported in May.
The paper said that Musk has maintained strong relations with China in spite of these geopolitical tensions. During a visit in May, Musk met with several high-ranking Chinese officials, including foreign minister Qin Gang. There, he expressed opposition to a “decoupling” of the Chinese and American economies, in line with Beijing’s own position.
Musk discusses Tesla’s AI work
Musk also discussed Tesla’s AI efforts during his video segment. He noted that the company’s Optimus robot is designed to complement human labor. He also stated Tesla aims to create full-self driving technology at level 4 or 5 this year — terms that refer to “mind off” and “steering wheel optional” approaches to self-driving vehicles.
He additionally suggested that robots and AI agents could exist alongside humans at a “one-to-one ratio” over time. He called for caution and regulatory oversight, echoing a letter that he signed with hundreds of other tech leaders in April 2023.
Apart from its focus on vehicles and AI, Tesla is a significant crypto investor. The firm’s Bitcoin holdings currently amount to 10,725 BTC ($324.2 million), according to some estimates. It also accepts Dogecoin (DOGE) for some merchandise.