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Jane Austin in Cannes: Elon Musk defends notorious “Go f**k yourself” to advertisers

But he doesn't want live forever....

Elon Musk doesn’t want all advertisers to go fuck themselves, just the ones who aren’t fans of the disinformation, hate speech, antisemitism and alt-right conspiracy theories he’s spreading on his social platform, X. This is Musk on the charm offensive.

In a jaw-dropping chat with WPP’s Mark Read on Wednesday, Musk said that the “go fuck yourself” remark was “not to advertising as a whole” but that it was important to maintain freedom of speech on X where advertisers were “insisting on censorship.”

He was trying to build a free speech platform where people with a range of views could express themselves, apparently. It was a choice between free speech and losing money, and he chose free speech, he said.

Musk was asked about what motivates him. The answer: not free speech, not money, but curiosity about the universe and the thought of creating a multi-planet system with other civilizations. He talked about the need to send lots of people to Mars to get past the problem of being a small, parochial planet. One-way ticket to Mars coming right up, Elon.

Predicting a 10-20% chance of an AI related doomsday disaster for the world, but, on the upside, talking about a world of abundance, where work would become optional. Overall, the message was – it’s AI or die. He said that we are “at the most interesting time in history” and then repeated this at the end of the interview, telling Cannes: “Enjoy the ride.”

Radical changes will come over the next five years, when AI will be doing its best to keep you happy and you’ll start to regard your personalised robot as a friend, he said. Does this sound like an oracle talking, or just someone who’s watched Her?

The good news is Musk doesn’t want to live forever. “I think it is important that we die at least at some point,” he said. “If we live for too long, I think it does ossify society. There’s no changing of the leadership because leadership never dies.”

Then, in a rare moment of self-awareness, one of the worst individuals in the world joked: “Think of some of the worst individuals in the world. How long do you want them to live?”

Feeling suitably wooed advertisers?

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