Elon Musk is a very future-oriented tech entrepreneur, as evidenced by Tesla and SpaceX. Even so, Musk has always been vocal about his fear of a world take over by artificial intelligence (AI). Curiously enough, his solution to keep the AI doomsday away is to merge the human brain with machines.
On Monday, Futurism reported on Musk’s new venture to turn his proposed brain-computer interface into a reality. Musk confirmed his plan Tuesday via Twitter, saying more details about it are coming next week.
Long Neuralink piece coming out on @waitbutwhy in about a week. Difficult to dedicate the time, but existential risk is too high not to.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 28, 2017
Musk’s brain-hacking company is called Neuralink, which was founded to help human beings keep up with the cascading advancements in AI technology. This company will develop a device, or even a series of devices, that could be implanted into the human brain. It’s similar to a controversial idea Musk put forward back in 2016 called a “neural lace;” an idea he revisited earlier this year at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
Musk isn’t the only one who sees the future of humanity as being one with machines: Peter Diamandis, founder and chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, had previously expressed his vision for meta-intelligent human beings. As our brains merge with machines, a new kind of intelligence would emerge.
“Such a massive interconnection will lead to the emergence of a new global consciousness, and a new organism I call the Meta-Intelligence.” — Peter Diamandis
Efforts to realize this human-machine merger are also on the way — and not just with Neuralink. The U.S. Defense Department’s research arm, DARPA, is also working on similar technologies. “We are giving our physiology the opportunity to work with machines in a different way,” said Justin Sanchez, director of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office.
Instead of being completely overrun by intelligent machines, why not let our intelligence be merged with machines? Armed with a whole new kind of intelligence, we may be capable of far more than avoiding an AI doomsday scenario. Though, that’s not a bad place to start.