Ex-Twitter CEO says meeting Trump is like ‘waterboarding yourself’

Don't expect Dick Costolo at Trump's next meeting with Silicon Valley leaders.
Image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Let’s just say former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo had a really unpleasant visit with President Donald Trump.

Costolo dramatically likened Trump’s meetings with Silicon Valley leaders to alcohol poisoning and extreme water torture.

“If you don’t get invited to this meeting and want to know what it was like, just drink a bottle of gin and then waterboard yourself,” Costolo tweeted.

Costolo, who ran Twitter from 2010 to 2015, issued this hyperbolic tweet in response to a BuzzFeed report that Trump will meet soon with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to discuss emerging technology, such as drones and the Internet of Things.

The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy is organizing the technology meeting, which is slated for June 22. The event arrives three days after Trump is expected to meet with tech executives including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz to discuss topics like immigration and modernizing government operations, according to BuzzFeed.

Silicon Valley leaders have had an uneasy relationship with the Trump administration so far.

Donald Trump, then president-elect, with Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel and Apple CEO Tim Cook during a meeting at Trump Tower, Dec. 14, 2016 in New York City.

Image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Executives are facing rising public pressure to break ties to the White House or risk appearing to condone Trump’s controversial policies, including travel bans that target immigrants from majority Muslim countries, or calls for a wall spanning the U.S.-Mexico border. Tech leaders maintain that without access to the White House, they can’t be a moderating voice in the president’s ear.

Some execs, however, appear to have reached their limit.

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently said he intends to leave Trump’s economic advisory council after the president announced he would withdraw the U.S. from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/11/twitter-dick-costolo-trump-waterboarding/

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Elon Musk uses SpaceX to pull off April Fools’ Day rant on aliens

Image: Max Whittaker/Getty Images

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk may not be the best comedian among tech moguls, but he’s pretty good at making fun of himself.

That’s why it surprised no one on Saturday when he tweeted out a couple of April Fools’ Day space travel rants that included one of his favorite topics: alien life!

“Technology breakthrough: turns out chemtrails are actually a message from time-traveling aliens describing the secret of teleportation,” writes Musk, taking on the crazed, head-in-outer-space billionaire persona some have accused him of adopting since his SpaceX successes.

But it doesn’t end there. In addition to chemtrails (a favorite topic among conspiracy theorists), Musk brings his company into the attempt at Fools’ Day humor.

“Why did we waste so much time developing silly rockets? Damn you, aliens!” Musk wrote. “So obtuse! You have all this crazy tech, but can’t speak English!?”

See for yourself below:

Ok, it’s not the funniest space humor, but he’s trying. Give the guy some credit. And hey, if you promise to create reusable space rockets and actually pull it off, you’re allowed to crack a few corny jokes at your own expense every now and then.

Musk’s company made history this week by relaunching a previously flown Falcon 9 booster and then landing it back on Earth.

Years ago, video of such a feat might have been mistaken for a prank, but Musk made it real. So we’ll take the bad jokes if it means more tech and science breakthroughs, thank you.

WATCH: Elon Musk’s Hyperloop dream is closer to becoming a reality

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/04/01/elon-musk-april-fools-day-twitter/

Elon Musks Neuralink wants to boost the brain to keep up with AI

Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk has a new company yes, another one focused on developing the capabilities of the brain through technological augmentation. Neuralink, the new venture, officially broke cover thanks to a Wall Street Journal article today, though its been known for some time that Musk was working on brain-computer interface tech as a means to help ensure humans can keep pace with the acceleratingdevelopment of artificial intelligence.

Musk at Code Conference last year brought up the prospect of a neural lace that would be surgically connected to a human brain and allow a user to interact with a computer without the bandwidth challenges that come with current input methods, including keyboards, mice and trackpads. Hes since tweeted that he has made progress on his own exploration of the tech, and more recently rumors emerged that he was planning to found another company with this project as its focus.

Neuralink isnt going to be focused on upgrading ordinary human brainpower at first, however, according to the WSJ report. Instead, itll explore how brain interfaces might alleviate the symptoms of dangerous and chronic medical conditions.

These could include epilepsy and severe depressive disorder, according to the report. These efforts could build on existing therapies that use electrodes in the brain to treat symptoms of Parkinsons, giving Neuralink a starting point with established science and an easier path to approval for human use. Clearing that lower hurdle would then set up the company for its longer-term goal of human augmentation.

 

It may sound far-fetched, but in fact this is basically the Musk standard playbook for building new companies based on big ideas. Both SpaceX and Tesla used the same model, starting with near-term products that werent nearly as ambitious as later efforts in order to crest a sustainable path to grand designs, like landing on Mars or affordable, mass-produced long-range EVs.

Musk will definitely have a full plate with Neuralink on top of Tesla and SpaceX, as well as his side venture The Boring Company, which is looking into solving urban transportation issues via tunnels. But the CEO sees AI as a risk that could potentially affect humanity at large, and his decision to pursue this potential solution likely seems as imperative to him as does the necessity of expanding our intergalactic colonial footprint, or weaning ourselves off of fossil fuels.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/27/elon-musks-neuralink-wants-to-boost-the-brain-to-keep-up-with-ai/