'When Elon Musk Met Jack Ma And Instantly Regretted It'

Zinger Key Points
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk met Alibaba Group co-founder Jack Ma in China during the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in 2019.
  • The two tech billionaires faced off on various topics, including AI and Mars.

Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk met Alibaba Group co-founder Jack Ma at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, China in 2019. While Musk is usually at the center of attention, this time, Ma stole the show with his quips, making the Tesla CEO instantly regret being on stage with him.

What Happened: Musk and Ma sparred on stage over several topics, including AI and Mars. Ma, who was still racing towards his peak at the time with a wealth of $41 billion, took on Musk.

An old clip, showing the two tech billionaires fighting a battle of wits on stage, shows Ma beginning with this: "I hate the world AI called Artificial Intelligence. I call it Alibaba Intelligence."

Musk was left stunned, and when he could muster a comeback, he kept it short. "Yeah. Might end up being true. You never know."

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The two then switched to an old joke about predictions and statistics, and how "80% of them are made up" on the internet. While the entire part was awkward, Musk tried to break the silence and called it a "cold room."

See Also: Elon Musk Reacts To His 21-Year-Old Profile Calling Tesla CEO ‘The Six Million Dollar Man:’ ‘Feels Like Aeons Ago’

Taking It To The Space

Ma then switched to a topic that is closer than AI to Musk's heart – Mars. The SpaceX founder has been talking about it for a long time now, and it's also one of the ultimate goals of his space startup.

"Actually, I'm not interested in Mars. I just came back from there," Ma said. Musk was unimpressed.

Ma turned the screw further and said Mars is a one-way trip, which made him curious about why Musk wanted to go to Mars in the first place. The SpaceX founder, though, just said "That's not how it works."

While Musk has been one of the early enthusiasts about AI – he is one of the co-founders of OpenAI, and has now founded xAI – he has been more optimistic about space.

SpaceX, which Musk founded in 2022, has so far launched registered 333 launches. Its Falcon 9 rocket is also reusable, which is one of the biggest achievements of the company.

The current mission that Musk and SpaceX are working on is to land humans back on the moon, in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) via the Starship program.

While Mars is still a while away, you can watch the awkward banter between Musk and Ma below.

Check out more of Benzinga's Future Of Consumer Tech by following this link.

Read Next: Elon Musk's The Boring Company Faces Violations Over Las Vegas Tunnel Expansion For Endangering Monorail: Report

Photos courtesy: Shutterstock and Wikimedia

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