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Elon Musk parties in Jerusalem amid rumours of a major Israeli technology investment

The Tesla and SpaceX chief executive is reportedly in talks with AI firm Cortica

    Elon Musk at the Masada
    Elon Musk at the Masada (Photo: Instagram)

    Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has paid a surprise visit to Israel amid reports he is considering an investment in Cortica, the Tel Aviv-based artificial intelligence firm.

    He also had a two-hour meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on  Tuesday morning.

    Mr Musk, who previously co-founded PayPal, is the founder and chief executive of electric car company Tesla and space services company SpaceX. His firms are pioneering self-driving car technology and planning to put people on Mars.

    Cortica claims to have raised $70 million (£49.9 million) after developing an autonomous AI platform that allows cars to predict and react to any situation. 

    Israeli financial daily Globes reported Mr Musk is considering an investment or acquiring the company outright.

     

    Last night in Jerusalem and the best menu ever

    A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Mar 19, 2018 at 4:19pm PDT

    The South African-born, US-based billionaire also took time out to see the sites in Israel, posting pictures for his 6.8 million Instagram followers.

    He snapped a selfie at Masada saying: "Paid respects to Masada earlier today. Live free or die."

    He later poured flaming absinthe over a tower of glasses in Jerusalem bar Gatsby and drank at O'Connell's Irish bar in the Mahanei Yehuda market.

    This week's visit is not Mr Musk's first to the country.

    He was in Jerusalem in 2016 to visit Mobileye, a developer of sensors for autonomous cars that were briefly installed in Tesla vehicles, although the collaboration ended after six months amid mutual recriminations following a car accident.

    But Mobileye appeared to suffer no long-term harm because it was acquired by Intel for $15.3 billion last year.

    Nor did the episode, it seems, dampen Mr Musk's appetite for Israeli technology.

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