A lot of great minds interacting often makes good news for common masses. 


But Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Tesla CEO Elon Musk having a debate on a global stage is something that's more than just news and worth listening to, carefully.

Jack Ma and Elon Musk
Source: QZ.com

Sharing the stage together at the 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) on August 29, they talked about a variety of subjects; ranging from AI and going to Mars, to the possibility of the human population collapsing.

While Ma held an optimistic approach about AI, Musk simply considered it apocalyptic, reports CNBC

Elon Musk making a point
Source: NDTV

The point where they both could agree was about the human population collapsing sometime in the future. 


Both billionaires agreed this will indeed be the biggest problem the world will face in some time. 

Source: Economic Times

Speaking to the audience, Musk said on the stage: 

Most people think we have too many people on the planet, but actually, this is an outdated view. Assuming there is a benevolent future with AI, I think the biggest problem the world will face in 20 years is population collapse.

Jack Ma agreed saying: 

I absolutely agree with that. The population problem is going to be facing huge challenge. 1.4 billion people in China sounds a lot, but I think next 20 years, we will see this thing will bring big trouble to China. And … the speed of population decrease is going to speed up. You called it a ‘collapse'. 
Source: Brookings.edu

While we would want to forget what both these street-smart geniuses have to say about the planet's future, the statistics are scary and speak in their favour. 

Even if a bit aggressive, what Ma and Musk have pointed out may well work against us in the coming few years. 


The current global fertility rate (2.5) is expected to fall to 1.9 by 2021. 

This will hamper the overall global replacement rate that is 2.1 births at present. 

Source: Medical Daily

Fertility rates also vary from country to country and continent to continent. 


For poorer countries in Africa, increasing fertility rate and replacement rate will be a burden but in a country like China, a slowing population is a cause of big concern. 

Source: Thought.co

Explaining it theoretically, a long-term population decline, especially when there's no replacement, can bring unfavourable social and economic consequences. 

Source: Quest

The staggering debate may have brought out a lot of speculations about our future, this particular point of human population collapsing probably makes me sweat the most. 

Twitter agrees. 

Even though nature's fury has already shed warning signals about a not-so-bright future, it is difficult to say how long before our time on this planet is up.