REPORTING – The billionaire was present this Friday afternoon at the VivaTech show. Le Figaro was at the heart of this event, which marked more than one spectator.
“I will only see it once in my lifesays the stars in her eyes Nancya, a volunteer at Vivatech. This Friday is a day to mark with a white stone for the show specializing in new technologies. A guest of honor slipped into the program: the entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Muskboss of Tesla, Space X, Neuralink and co-founder of Open AI, at the origin of the conversational robot ChatGPT.
In the aisles of the salon, his name resounds like a master. It’s a real star for technology fans. At the start of the afternoon, spectators crowded in front of the Dôme de Paris, located at the Porte de Versailles. An hour before his intervention, the queue is already several tens of meters. Everyone knows that not everyone will be able to attend the conference. What accentuate the tensions in the ranks. Around 3:15 p.m. it’s the kick-off: the gates open to welcome the first lucky ones. The organization is slipping and people are getting impatient, under a blazing sun.
Not enough to discourage admirers of the boss of Twitter so far. “He’s the most influential man in the world says a man who hurries to find a seat. You have to go quickly, because the places are expensive. “First come, first served“, had warned VivaTech. Among the spectators, hundreds of young people were invited by some sixty schools. “Elon Musk is one of the successful people and we want to learn from his experienceexplains Ismat, a 19-year-old engineering student from Compiègne.
In the room, it is overwhelmingly hot. Tired faces regain color when Maurice Lévy, chairman of the supervisory board of Publicis, announces the entry on stage of Elon Musk, about twenty minutes late. He is welcomed as a real star, to the applause and cheers of the spectators. Laptop in hand, everyone is eager to capture this moment through the camera of their smartphone.
“It’s very beautiful for young people”
From the outset, the boss plays jokes, sketches a dance step, releases a few words in French, to the applause of the spectators. The questions follow one another on space, the planet Mars, artificial intelligence or even Twitter, punctuated by a few heartfelt cries from some people: “Elon!», «Yes!“. After 45 minutes of exchanges, without particular announcements, it is the turn of the spectators to question the fifty-something. The chaos is immediate: dozens of people get up and scream to try to attract the attention of Maurice Lévy, who distributes the questions. Only a lucky few have the opportunity to interview Elon Musk face-to-face. A young woman even takes the opportunity to highlight her artificial intelligence start-up and approaches the stage to give her business card to the entrepreneur, who gets up to collect it. “She’s got so much guts», Admires a woman who hastens to applaud him.
When Maurice Lévy announces the end of the conference, those who have not yet asked a question rush to the stage in the hope of getting a look, a smile or a photo from their idol. But Elon Musk slips away quickly, after greeting the room. Outside, the spectators draw the first conclusions from this event, which disappointed more than one. “We expected announcements, such as the launch of a research center“regrets Jérémie, who works at BpiFrance. Others are more optimistic. For his colleague Kenji, it was normal to attend the conference of Elon Musk, whose vision of life he admires: “It is civilization-oriented and adapts good rules for the safety of Humanity.»
“I find it incredible to have met him, not everyone is so luckyexclaims Soraya, a 21-year-old student. “He had a pretty powerful speech, it’s very beautiful for young people“, she completes. For Kimberly, 21, “it allowed us to project“. Accompanied by her two friends, the young woman feels bothvery privileged” And “very smallin the face of Elon Musk’s aura. Cécile, 24, regrets for her part “the pive-aggressive questions of the interlocutors“: “We know that there is debate on many subjects, it is not worth accentuating the polemics“, she judges. For these student entrepreneurs, Elon Musk’s ambition will allow them “to have it themselves“. “It’s really crazy, I want to go home, work until three in the morning and wake up at six“says Kimberly. A real guru therefore, whose escapades we would almost forget.