Interfacing our brains with machines may save us from an artificial intelligence doomsday scenario. According to Elon Musk, if we want to avoid becoming the equivalent of primates in an AI-dominated world, connecting our minds to computing capabilities is a solution that needs to be explored.
As a man who tends to put his money in the ring where he thinks it needs to be, Elon and a few like-minded entrepreneurs have created Neuralink, a company dedicated to doing just that. Human-brain machine interfaces aren’t just for doomsday insurance, however.
During the interview, Elon touched on a few topics that make regular appearances in his conversations like artificial intelligence and Tesla. His warnings about AI were as dire as ever, lamenting in particular about how, as a society, we humans are more concerned with what names we call one another than threats to our existence. For that short coming, he blamed evolution overall.
“We are not evolved as a species to deal with existential threats,” he said.
Comparing the outcome of humans vs. primates, when it comes to AI, the SpaceX founder noted that we could very well end up becoming the equivalent of our animal-brethren to our machine overlords. However, Elon is working on a solution to that particular issue.
The technology being developed by Neuralink will allow us to integrate with computers to access and process information just as well as our AI counterparts. Essentially, our brains will have our very own AI in a cloud that our brains can synthesize with as needed. We already interface with our computers on a regular basis, so the jump from an external device to an internal one would be a natural progression.
It might seem a little far-fetched to have implants in our brains that enable such a capability, but as Elon cited in this interview, such technology is already in development for other needs. For example, scientists are already able to tap into the brain’s electrical pulses that control muscles, meaning that in the case of paralysis, the signal paths can be restored and thus restore movement to once immobile limbs.
Neuralink would introduce microcontrollers to advance this technology further. In the interview, Elon also suggested memory functionality as an area for Neuralink to focus on, specifically for issues around Alzheimer’s.
“It’s incredibly sad when a mother forgets her children, and that can be solved, too,” Musk said.