The melding of man and machine, becoming one with the internet, the singularity. This may seem like the dream of Sci-Fi writers everywhere, but one man is working to make it so. And his motivation lies in the ever present threat of real Artificial Intelligence being invented.
Elon Musk is better known to the world as the owner of SpaceX, the tweeter-in-trouble for Tesla, the shining star of SolarCity and now the man without tunnel vision for The Boring Company. Musk is a smart man, there is no doubt. A little eccentric, but then all genius’ are in one way or another. So far Musk’s sole goal has been making life multi-planetary by colonizing Mars. And all his seemingly random businesses are built for this purpose, while having the side effect of making life better on Earth.
Now, when a man as smart as Musk starts warning about the current drive to invent and harness true A.I. and the dangers to humanity that could arise from that, it might be best to listen. Yet, the majority seem to laugh him off, while also being completely comfortable with the fact that true A.I. would probably be the end of the human race. Its an odd juxtaposition.
Musk has decided the only way to combat the inevitable rise of A.I. is to make man a part of the machine. Only by plugging in, by being a part a part of it, can we control what ever we manage to create. With this in mind, he created Neuralink. That was three years ago. And recently, they held their first presentation on what they have been working on.
Neuralink is aiming to be the first company to provide human enhancement in a digital way. Implanting tiny modules within the brain that connects to super fine electrodes jutting out the head much like hair. The first goal will be to treat people with severe brain diseases, learning and growing until the technology allows humans to reach “symbiosis with artificial intelligence”.
Now, almost everyone’s first thought will go straight to the negative. I blame Hollywood for this. Instead of showing the world what could be possible to achieve with this technology, it has always leaned right into the dystopian, bad ending. The population has grown up with the very idea that technology is inherently bad and not here to help us. So its of no surprise that an endeavor like Neuralink will be met with a lot of criticisms. But we are not here to dwell on that.
Neuralink could potentially jump start the digitizing of the human brain. As the company progresses and pushed technology in this field forward, a lot more people will see the benefit. And maybe even start to compete. The free market at work. This could potentially change the entire way we interface with computers all the way to how we even build computers. The human brain is a marvelous bit of engineering, managing to compute things at speed which computers today struggle with. Having it be digitized will be the next evolutionary step for the PC sitting on your desk.
The doors for every great Science Fiction will suddenly be open. We could be standing on the precipice of a giant leap forward for humanity.
This is just the beginning. Humanities future lies in the blending of man and machine. I very much look forward to the progress Neuralink, and the others like it, achieve in the coming years.