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Elon Musk Says AI Research, Neuralink, and the Boring Company Are Just Hobbies

"I want to emphasize very clearly—90 percent of my time is divided between SpaceX and Tesla."

Jason Koebler

Jason Koebler

Image: OnInnovation

Elon Musk assured Tesla shareholders Tuesday that he's not wasting too much time on his various side projects, which include building tunnels under Los Angeles, ensuring super intelligent artificial intelligence doesn't end humanity, and creating human-machine brain interfaces.

People invested in the success of Musk's main gigs—running the electric car and energy company Tesla and the rocket company SpaceX—often worry if Musk has spread himself too thin. In the last year, Musk has launched or increased his participation in the following companies:

  • The Boring Company, which plans to build traffic-alleviating tunnels under Los Angeles
  • Neuralink, a "neural lace" company that wants to connect humans and computers
  • OpenAI, a nonprofit artificial intelligence research company aimed at preventing robots from ending humanity

"90 percent plus of my time is divided between SpaceX and Tesla," Musk said at Tesla's annual shareholders meeting. "I want to emphasize very clearly—90 percent of my time is divided between SpaceX and Tesla. Less than 10 percent is everything else."

"It's slightly more Tesla—it's like a drama magnet, so I have to deal with Tesla drama," he added, perhaps referring to news reports that Tesla factory workers toil in grueling conditions. Less than a week ago, Tesla fired a woman who had blown the whistle on the factory working conditions.

Musk said his extracurricular endeavors are essentially hobbies: "The Boring Company is like three people, some interns, and some part-time people. Everyone thinks it's going to fail, so it's like, 'OK, you can only go up from there.' Low expectations are great. The Boring Company is maybe two percent of my time. Neuralink 3-5 percent. Open AI, another couple percent."

Lead image: OnInnovation