Elon Musk set to debate Jack Ma at AI event; rumored to unveil first China-made Tesla

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Elon Musk is traveling to Shanghai, China to attend the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC). The Tesla chief executive will be featured on the opening day of the conference.

The World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) is an event that would run from August 29 to 31. According to the Shanghai municipal governor, this year’s conference would be focusing on a connected intelligent world enabled by the development of AI technologies.

The conference prepared a 17,000 square meter exhibition area that would showcase innovative applications that are related to AI urban application, autonomous driving, industrial ecology, and frontier technologies.

Musk is considered to be one of the star speakers of the conference. According to one of the organizers, Musk’s attendance was secured early. His presence is seen as a sign that there is confidence in China’s goal of becoming the world leader in AI technology by 2030.

A press release for the event said: “Conference-goers can look forward to featured speakers shedding light on the status quo of the industry and the potential impacts of artificial intelligence.”

Musk has mentioned that during the event, there would be a free-wheeling debate between him and Alibaba founder Jack Ma on August 29.

Both men have shared their thoughts about Artificial Intelligence. Musk has even spoken about the dangers of AI. He also spoke about how there should be a government committee that should spend about a year or two gaining insights about AI or other technologies that might be dangerous.

In 2018, while attending South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, Musk expressed his concerns over AI: “I’m really quite close, very close to the cutting edge in AI. It scares the hell out of me. It’s capable of vastly more than almost anyone on Earth, and the rate of improvement is exponential.”

As for Jack Ma, he has mentioned how automation and AI will be wreaking havoc on jobs around the world.

At the Bloomberg Global Business Forum held in New York City last September 2017, Jack Ma said: “In the last 200 years, manufacturing has brought jobs. But today – because of artificial intelligence, because of the robots – manufacturing is no longer the main engine of creating jobs.”

Apart from attending the event in Shanghai, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO will also be launching the Chinese division of The Boring Company.

The Boring Company was launched in 2016 as a subsidiary of Musk’s private aerospace manufacturing and space transportation company. It became a separate corporate entity in 2018.

Musk is also set to visit Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai. Gigafactory 3 is Tesla’s first Chinese factory. The massive factory is currently being constructed. The facility is expected to start producing Tesla electric vehicles (EVs) by the fourth quarter of 2019.

In an update on its official Weibo account, Tesla said the construction of its Shanghai factory was going smoothly.

In July 2018, Tesla confirmed that it made a deal with the Shanghai government to build a wholly-owned local factory. By October of the same year, the company announced that it has secured a 210 acre land in Lingang, Shanghai. The Lingang zone is the newest area to be added to the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

The trade war between the United States and China has affected Tesla. In China, Tesla vehicles have a 40% import tariff rate. Other imported vehicles get 15%. With its presence in the country, Tesla will be able to avoid increasing import tariffs in the world’s biggest auto market.

The Gigafactory 3 is said to be in the process of testing its car assembly system. Recent leaks suggest that the facility is getting ready for its trial production runs.

With Musk’s appearance at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC), there are also speculations that he would be revealing the first-ever Tesla EV made at the company’s Gigafactory Shanghai.

Just last week, Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 was able to receive its first comprehensive acceptance certificate. The certificate came three days after the company applied for an application.

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