Last week, Elon Musk confirmed reports regarding the launch of his new venture, Neuralink. Today, more details have come to light regarding the company’s ultimate goal to develop a brain-computer interface.
The fear of becoming second class citizens
Elon Musk has made it clear that he is concerned about the extreme advancements being made in artificial intelligence (AI) research. Ultimately, he fears that AI will, one day, overtake humanity. Over the years, this fear has pushed Musk to make moves that will help ensure that our artificial intelligences don’t turn humans into second class citizens. One of the first instances of such action was back in 2015, when Musk donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institue, an organization that gives money to researchers who are working to mitigate the existential risks facing humanity, particularly, existential risks from advanced artificial intelligence. In his own words: “It’s best to try to prevent a negative circumstance from occurring than to wait for them to occur and then be reactive.” Around the same time, Musk, Stephen Hawking, and more than 20,000 other experts signed an open letter calling for an autonomous weapons ban. The letter explains, “If any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapon development, a global arms race is virtually inevitable.” And this was just the beginning of Musk’s work.
Good AI vs. Bad AI
At the time, Musk spoke out and called artificial intelligence it a major threat to the internet itself. He also claimed that it’s only a matter of time until we see a massive AI attack on internet infrastructure. Only a matter of time before advanced AI is used to do this. Internet is particularly susceptible to a gradient descent algo. So what’s Musk’s plan for saving us from killer robots? Ironically, it’s becoming one with the AI. Just a few weeks ago, details leaked asserting that Musk is backing a brain-computer interface venture that was founded in order to allow humans to keep up with the advancements made in machine intelligence. At the time of the leak, the company – called Neuralink – was still in the earliest stages of development. To that end, it had no public presence at all.
Neuralink in action
What we did know is that the company’s ultimate goal is to develop a device (a brain-computer interface, to be exact) that could be implanted into the brain in order to augment (see: improve) human intelligence. It’s a controversial idea Musk initially put forward back in 2016. At the time, he called it a “neural lace;” an idea he revisited earlier this year at the World Government Summit in Dubai. Since the computing powers of AI are expected to surpass that of humans in rather quick order, the neural lace is meant to push our cognitive performance to a level that is comparable to that of AI […]