When the AI machines take over, will they come from Skynet or from our own heads? Probably from Elon Musk and Neuralink.
Jokes, jokes! AI is more likely to be a benefit to humanity; the Terminator-type AIs are almost certainly complete fiction, both now and in the future. But Elon Musk’s new company Neuralink has a different approach to AI than other companies such as Google’s Deep Mind or IBM’s Watson. Neuralink (if successful) has the potential to change what human beings ARE.
Neuralink: So What’s the Big AI Idea?
Elon Musk is part of a group of people like Stephen Hawkings who are very cautious about AI technology. Elon Musk has compared it to “summoning the demon,” and warns that all future AI must be very careful to train artificial intelligence to respect human life. Not everyone (read: Ray Kurzweil) agrees with his concerns, but caution is a virtue with any new technology that no one fully understands yet.
Neuralink plans to combine the processing power of computers with the human brain, adding augmented memory, reasoning, and processing capacity. It’s like adding a new hard drive to the human brain, making it both faster and stronger.
Elon Musk has first set his sights on creating a way for severely brain-damaged survivors to get full (and enhanced) brain function back, making their minds better than new. This is comparable to experimental treatments for people who have no other options, and couldn’t get any worse.
After they are able to help people get back to new, that will lay the groundwork for enhancing already healthy humans. All you have to do is be willing to have your skull drilled in!
Say What Now?
Yep, that’s the other big hangup. Other than the fact that we don’t fully understand how the human brain works, we also can’t really find a long list of volunteers who want to undergo an uncertain brain surgery, even if they do get superpowers from it. Elon Musk and co have said that their priority right now is to create a way to add AI non-invasively.
What Does This Mean For Us?
It means several things. First, if it works, it will change human society on a scale that we have not seen since the industrial revolution; possibly even more. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s truly not. This is a technology that changes what human beings ARE. It will allow unlimited, photo-perfect memory. But, if you watch Black Mirror, you might realize that’s not always a good thing. It would also allow us instant recall of information, and access to all knowledge that’s on the internet.
We could literally “teach” ourselves things with digital files, if the tech got good enough. However, no one knows the full consequences of all this yet, but Neuralink has its best minds on it. Elon Musk’s plan to beat the machines is to join them, but little is known beyond that. I’m very interested in this topic, and the moment I hear new information about it, I’ll get it to you guys as fast as I can! We need to beat Skynet at their own game as fast as possible!