Elon Musk is executing the integration of human intelligence with artificial intelligence he once referred to as neural lace, to save us from the impending AI planetary hostile takeover.
On Monday he announced the new company, Neuralink. They already have a website up, neuralink.com.
The idea is to create a new brain to computer interface.
It isn’t news that Elon is worried about AI. He thinks it will turn us into pets. He said that with artificial intelligence, we are summoning a demon. It’s our biggest existential threat.
The truth is, nobody knows what creating a strong AI will result in. It could make our world a paradise, or Skynet will decide to terminate us.
Its a bit of a gamble to say the least. Elon thinks if we can interface with it, then we can better control it.
He has a point. As long as we work with them, AIs, our relationship with technology will remain mutually beneficial.
Its when we look at technology as some sort of competitor the will inevitably replace us, that we run into trouble.
Today we have 1000’s of times more power in our back pockets than NASA had in the 60’s and 70’s to guide astronauts to the moon.
What make our smartphones exponentially even more powerful, is that they are interconnected.
As of December 2015, there are 3.26 billion people connected to the Internet. Our digital interactions on the Internet influenced 2.2 trillion dollars in sales that year.
There are now 1.9 billion active Facebook users. Five new profiles are created every second. There are 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook every day.
There’s 966 million web sites, and we can find the information we are looking for on them in seconds. We Google 2.9 billion times a day.
Last year, there was more Internet traffic than all the previous years combined.
40% of shoppers now check three or more channels, often while shopping, before making a purchase.
Four out of five of us use a smartphone to shop.
That’s quite the technological evolution.
The one thing that hasn’t changed is that we are giving the instructions, and the machines are executing them.
This is because we think, and they just execute.
Sure we can program them to beat the best chess players, the best Jeopardy players, the best GO players. They can even drive cars better than us. These are things we used to think only a human could do.
Will there eventually be anything that humans will still be able to do better than them?
A part of AI we use a today is called Machine Learning. The term itself is a bit ominous. Consider however machine learning can’t always identify cat pictures online, while a four year old child can do perfectly.
AIs are fundamentally different than us.
We plan ahead, and make decisions in complicated situations. We have intention. We have a hard time processing large amounts of information.
We buy and sell things from each other, not AIs. AI is just information technology that consumes a bit of power, and it isn’t even smart enough to want it.
AIs are the opposite of us. They are tools, not rivals. They compliment us.
Successful technology is that which works with us, not against us, or is trying to replace us.
The AI we use today is called weak AI. Strong AI isn’t something that’s going to arrive anytime soon, so as long as we keep focusing on making technology that helps us work better with technology, instead of trying to replace us, we are on the right track.
Neuralink is squarely on that track.
Thank you for reading.