A few days ago, Tesla and SpaceX co-founder Elon Musk put his idea about brain-computer interface. He wants to develop a “neural lace” technology in which tiny electrodes are implanted in the brain that gives direct computing capabilities.
While having a concern about advancement in AI, he also has the fear that AI will, one day, overtake humanity. This fear makes him take moves that will help ensure that AI doesn’t turn humans into second class citizens.
Musk Said, “It’s best to try to prevent a negative circumstance from occurring than to wait for them to occur and then be reactive.”
According to Musk, AI is the great threat to the internet itself.
In 2015, Musk announced the formation of OpenAI. It is a non-profit AI research company to advance digital intelligence that will benefit humanity as a whole.
So, How he is going to save Humanity?
As Musk is developing Neural lace technology, a brain-computer interface to allow humans to keep up with the advancements made in machine intelligence. 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.
Musk said, “Creating a neural lace is the thing that really matters for humanity to achieve symbiosis with machines.”
“We are aiming to bring something to market that helps with certain severe brain injuries (stroke, cancer lesion, congenital) in about four years.”
Musk met with almost 1,000+ people in order to assemble this group. The challenge was it requires a large number of totally separate areas of expertise while working on technology that involves neuroscience, brain surgery, microscopic electronics, clinical trials, etc. Because it was such a cross-disciplinary area. For instance, Paul Merolla, who spent the last seven years as the lead chip designer at IBM on their SyNAPSE program; Vanessa Tolosa, Neuralink’s microfabrication expert and one of the world’s foremost researchers on biocompatible materials; and Max Hodak, who worked on the development of some groundbreaking BMI technology at Miguel Nicolelis’s lab at Duke.
Musk said, “I think we are about 8 to 10 years away from this being usable by people with no disability. It is important to note that this depends heavily on regulatory approval timing and how well our devices work on people with disabilities.”
Like Musk, Braintree founder Bryan Johnson’s company Kernal is currently working on a neuroprosthesis that can mimic, repair, and improve human cognition. If it comes to fruition, that tech could be a solid defense against the worst case AI scenarios.
Such advancement could allow us to merge with machines, they could also allow us to literally program our neural code, which would allow us to transform ourselves in ways that we can’t even imagine.
WaitButWhy’s Tim Urban has an in-depth report on what Neuralink is about.