Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned a bipartisan gathering of U.S. governors on Saturday that government regulation of artificial intelligence is needed because it's a 'fundamental risk to the existence of human civilisation.'
But first, he asked for some governors to lift a different kind of regulation: State franchise dealership laws that ban the direct sale of his company's electric cars to consumers.
Musk spoke broadly about solar energy, space travel, self-driving cars and other emerging technology during a question-and-answer session at the summer conference of the National Governors Association in Rhode Island.
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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk responds to a question by Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval during the closing plenary session entitled 'Introducing the New Chairs Initiative - Ahead' on the third day of the National Governors Association's meeting on Saturday
When asked at the 2016 Code Conference in California if the answer to the question of whether we are in a simulated computer game was 'yes', Elon Musk said 'probably.'
Musk believes that computer game technology, particularly Virtual reality, is already approaching a point that it is indistinguishable from reality.
'If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, just indistinguishable,' he said.
'Even if the speed of those advancements dropped by 1000,
'We are clearly on a trajectory to have games indistinguishable from reality, and there would be billions of there.
'It would seem to follow that the odds that we're in 'base reality' is one in billions', Mr Musk said.
He also met privately with some governors, including Louisiana Democrat John Bel Edwards, who recently signed a law that Musk's Palo Alto, California-based company says blocks it from selling cars there.
Mr Edwards said Tesla asked for the one-on-one meeting with Musk, which was short.
'I just asked him to come down to Louisiana and sit down with us, sit down with the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association and work out some sort of a compromise, which they have successfully done in other states,' Mr Edwards said.
Allowing manufacturer-to-consumer sales also came up in meetings