⚡ Breaking — First gene-edited babies? "A Chinese researcher claims that he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies — twin girls born this month whose DNA he said he altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life," AP reports from Hong Kong.
Elon Musk, the inventor and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, told "Axios on HBO" that humans must merge with machines to overcome the “existential threat” of artificial intelligence.
Why it matters: Musk warned humans could go the way of monkeys, dismissed to small pockets of the earth. That could happen, he said, if we don’t respond more urgently the dire and increasingly real threat of machines holding exponentially more knowledge than mankind.
Musk said his neuroscience company, Neuralink, has about 85 of "the highest per capita intelligence" group of engineers he has ever assembled — with the mission of building a hard drive for your brain.
Musk said an immediate application could be spinal cord injuries:
And Musk said people don't appreciate the damage off-the-shelf AI presents today:
But perhaps an even bigger threat, he said, is "incredibly effective propaganda ... influence the direction of society. Influence elections."
After a string of mind-stretchers, Musk added: "Maybe we're in a simulation.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk says his electric car startup was close to death over the last year — within "single-digit weeks," he told "Axios on HBO" — during the troubled ramp-up of the mass market Model 3.
But after months of waving away critics who described him as a slipshod manager, Musk admitted that Tesla "faced a severe threat of death."
Why it matters, from Axios future editor Steve LeVine: Musk’s admission shows just how dire conditions became at a company that is synonymous with him, and that many regard as the key to a future electric car revolution.
Musk said he spends about 70% of his time on Tesla — sometimes seven days a week, and sleeping in the factory.
Asked what he does that no one should do, Musk answered: "No one should put this many hours into your work. This is not good. People should not work this hard."
"U.S. border agents fired tear gas on hundreds of migrants protesting near the border with Mexico ... after some of them attempted to get through the fencing and wire separating the two countries," AP's Christopher Sherman reports from Tijuana, Mexico.
"American authorities [temporarily] shut down the nation's busiest border crossing from the city where thousands are waiting to apply for asylum."
"More than 5,000 migrants have been camped in and around a sports complex in Tijuana after making their way through Mexico in recent weeks via caravan."
Genesis Belen Mejia Flores, a 7-year-old Honduran, waves an American flag at U.S. border control helicopters flying over the Benito Juarez Sports Center, a temporary shelter for Central American migrants in Tijuana, Mexico.
Central American migrants, mostly Hondurans, climb a metal barrier on the Mexico-U.S. border, near the El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana.
A Central American migrant looks at the almost dry riverbed of the Tijuana River, near the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico.
"Over the past decade, attackers motivated by right-wing political ideologies have committed dozens of shootings, bombings and other acts of violence, far more than any other category of domestic extremist, according to a Washington Post analysis of data on global terrorism," the WashPost's Wesley Lowery, Kimberly Kindy and Andrew Ba Tran report.
"Of 263 incidents of domestic terrorism between 2010 and the end of 2017, a third — 92 — were committed by right-wing attackers."
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has long worked on the issues of climate change and clean energy, but here's what's new for the tech visionary: he's increasingly worried not enough people understand the dimensions of the problem and that it's going to prevent progress, writes Amy Harder in her "Harder Line" column, which features her thoughts on her 40-minute interview with Gates, conducted with Ina Fried for "Axios on HBO."
What he's saying:
"Nearly a dozen members of the House’s incoming class are ... experienced policymakers who have worked in previous presidential administrations — seven of them for former President Barack Obama," the N.Y. Times' Catie Edmondson and Sheryl Gay Stolberg report.
Among the Obama alumni:
"Joining them is a former Clinton health and human services secretary, Donna Shalala of Florida."
Despite the aggressive timetables provided by SpaceX's Elon Musk and Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos, most Americans are not yet convinced that we'll be living on another planet anytime soon, according to an Axios survey conducted by SurveyMonkey for "Axios on HBO."
Why it matters, according to Axios science editor Andrew Freedman: During the next decade, we're poised to see multiple deep space exploration missions move forward, from a return to the moon (NASA's plan) to human missions to Mars (SpaceX and, over the longer-term, NASA as well).
NASA's InSight spacecraft is aiming for a bull's-eye touchdown on Mars around 3 p.m. today, zooming in like an arrow with no turning back, AP's Marcia Dunn reports from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
This is NASA's first attempt to land on Mars in six years.
Watch it live, from Axios science editor Andrew Freedman: