If there’s one overarching fear that many smart, well-informed humans share about artificial intelligence (AI), it’s that it holds the intimidating potential to leave humans in the dust. According to Elon Musk, the AI era could quite possibly cause the end of humanity. One of Musk’s most famous answers to this threat is his unconventional neural lace concept, which would allow its human users to “achieve symbiosis with machines.”
Musk co-founded the non-profit organization OpenAI to cope with the potential threats posed by AI. The organization is working on the neural lace project, but is also developing various other AI technologies, all in a transparent, open-access way. More recently, Musk has warned the United Nations about the dangers of automated weapons, as an extension of his concerns about AI more generally.
Musk isn’t alone in his concerns; Stephen Hawking also thinks AI has the potential to destroy humanity. Hawking has called for an international regulatory body to govern the development and use of AI — before it is too late.
In contrast, numerous other experts, most working in AI, disagree with these dire predictions. Mark Zuckerberg has recently gone on record saying that he is disappointed in AI’s naysayers. Other experts agree, finding an unwelcome distraction in the warnings of Musk. Now, a real-life bionic woman has entered the debate about AI, offering a perspective that is as fresh as it is unique.
Singer-songwriter Viktoria Modesta is among the first bionic artists in the world, so she has a different take on living in symbiosis with machines. Born in the Soviet Union, Russia, in 1988, an accident at the time of her birth left her with a serious defect in her left leg. As a result, her childhood was a painful one, which multiple reconstructive surgeries did nothing to relieve. When she reached adulthood she was inspired to take charge of her destiny and body, and at age 20 as a Londoner she chose to undergo a voluntary below the knee amputation of her left leg.