Amazon founder and Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos envisions a future where humanity inhabits massive cylindrical space stations, similar to those described by science-fiction writer Gerard K. O’Neill. In a recent interview with podcaster Lex Fridman, Bezos expressed his desire to see a trillion humans living in the solar system, suggesting that such habitats could sustain an astronomical number of people. According to Bezos, the only way to achieve this vision is through giant space stations, as planetary surfaces are deemed too small for such a population.
“I would love to see a trillion humans living in the solar system,” he told Fridman. “If we had a trillion humans, we would have, at any given time, 1,000 Mozarts and 1,000 Einsteins.”
“The only way to get to that vision is with giant space stations,” Bezos added. “The planetary surfaces are just way too small.”
Bezos’ vision diverges from that of his space industry rival, Elon Musk, who aims to make humanity “multiplanetary” by establishing cities on other planets like Mars. Bezos predicts that Earth, in his vision, would become a holiday destination, with people visiting it in a manner similar to traveling to tourist spots like Yellowstone National Park.
While acknowledging the competition, Bezos refrains from directly criticizing Musk and acknowledges him as a capable leader, stating that he doesn’t know Musk well.
Bezos also expressed optimism about the future of artificial intelligence (AI), suggesting that concerns about the dangers of the technology are overly emphasized. His perspective contrasts with the cautious approach taken by some experts who worry about the potential risks associated with advancing AI technologies.
In a somewhat self-serving statement, Bezos suggests that future humans might have the choice to live on an Amazon O’Neill colony or on Earth. This raises questions about the potential commercialization of space habitats and the role of corporations in shaping the future of space colonization.
Overall, Bezos’ vision offers a perspective on the future of humanity that involves large-scale space habitats and a shift in the way people interact with Earth, turning it into a destination for leisure and tourism. Whether such visions become a reality will depend on the progress and developments in space exploration and colonization technologies.