Elon Musk says we're on the verge of the biggest technology revolution with AI, but there won't be enough power by 2025

Elon Musk at the Bosch Connected World conference
(Image credit: Matthew Berman | YouTube)

What you need to know

  • With the emergence of AI, Elon Musk says we're on the verge of the biggest technology revolution.
  • The billionaire indicated that the technology might not realize its full potential due to insufficient electricity and transformers to power its advances. 
  • He added that Humanoid robots are on the horizon with powerful systems that will allow them to function and handle tasks like/or even better than humans.

While making a brief virtual appearance at the just-concluded Bosch Connected World conference, Tesla CEO Elon Musk talked about all things Generative AI, superintelligence AGI, self-driving cars, and robots. 

The X (formerly Twitter) owner has expressed his reservations about AI and highlighted several repercussions we stand to suffer if there are no regulations and guardrails to prevent the technology from spiraling out of control. He's in court after filing a lawsuit against OpenAI and Sam Altman for abandoning the startup's initial vision (availing AI to everyone for free) and choosing to go the for-profit way.

The interview starts with Elon Musk talking about self-driving cars, which heavily rely on Artificial Intelligence technology. The billionaire says Tesla is on the verge of becoming fully autonomous in the United States with plans to expand to Europe and other regions (via News Atlas).

Musk also indicates that the growth of generative AI in computing in the form of chatbots has been rapid, allowing users to generate content and images within a moment's notice. He added that the adoption and rapid growth of the technology in computing is increasing by a factor of ten every six months. "I've never seen any technology advance faster than this," says Musk.

He attributed NVIDIA's immense success and growth in revenue to the increased demand for AI chips, which ultimately made it the most profitable semiconductor chip brand worldwide.

According to Musk:

"The artificial intelligence compute coming online appears to be increasing by a factor of 10 every six months. Like, obviously that cannot continue at such a high rate forever, or it'll exceed the mass of the universe, but I've never seen anything like it. The chip rush is bigger than any gold rush that's ever existed."

Humanoid robots might be better at handling tasks than people

An AI robot

(Image credit: Windows Central / Bing Image Creator)

Elon Musk also touched on the growth of robotics in the world fueled by the emergence of generative AI and its advances. Unlike industrial robots, which are programmed to function explicitly, humanoid robots' capabilities are more sophisticated. He also revealed that Tesla's Optimus program is developing humanoid robots capable of handling complex tasks like humans. 

"I think we really are on the edge of probably the biggest technology revolution that has ever existed. You know, there's supposedly a Chinese curse: 'May you live in interesting times.' Well, we live in the most interesting of times. For a while, it was making me a bit depressed, frankly. I was like, Well, will they take over? Will we be useless?"

The CEO jokingly remarked that he hoped the robots would be nice to us. This consequently opened up the looming concern around the safety and privacy of the technology. We've already seen Boston Dynamics make incredible strides on this front with ChatGPT-powered robots that serve as tour guides across the company's premises.

There will be some setbacks too

Robot in the forest with a water stream and power lines

(Image credit: Kevin Okemwa | Windows Central)

With the exponential growth of technology, Elon says we're living in the most interesting of times. This sparks the thought of AI and humanoid robots potentially taking over the human race and rendering it useless.

Musk proceeds to indicate that he had initially predicted the shortage of GPUs, which temporarily stunted advancements in AI. He added that it is virtually impossible to expect to rapidly grow to an extent that exceeds the universe's mass without facing some challenges. And now, the CEO predicts insufficient electricity and transformers to keep these technological breakthroughs running.

He might be onto something here. Last year, a study revealed that Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT could consume enough to power a small country for a year by 2027. Musk says that this shortage might be experienced as early as 2025.

This is on top of the exorbitant cost of running a chatbot, which can get as high as $700,000 per day, and the high demand for cooling water (Generative AI consumes one water bottle for cooling per query). 

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.

  • naddy69
    "The billionaire indicated that the technology might not realize its full potential due to insufficient electricity and transformers to power its advances. "

    This guy is really not too bright, is he?
  • nop
    Elon just might be right about this