Behold, the future!

artificial-intelligence

Um, is anyone else ridiculously frightened by the news Elon Musk has launched a new company called Neuralink with the aim to connect human brains with computers? Well, if you’re not, I am enough for you. The idea is for people to be able to directly communicate with machines without going through a physical interface. Sooooo if you want to google something, you don’t have to go to your computer, you just have to think about it using neural lace technology.

The Neuralink company was registered last July as a medical research company, yes, this is actually happening. Musk first described the technology of neural lace in 2016 saying it would allow humans to achieve symbiosis with machines. Again, um what the actual fuck? Pretty sure I don’t want to achieve symbiosis with any machines. Musk stated that neural lace technology could prevent a person from becoming a “house cat” to artificial intelligence. He is basically saying that Artificial Intelligence is coming whether we like it or not, and he’s probably right, this technology gives us an opportunity to be a player in that game instead of a spectator.

I feel like Musk belongs in some superhero movie, I’m not sure if he’s the hero or the villain though…

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  1. I’m pretty sure that Elon Musk is literally going to create Skynet one of these days.

  2. doubtpuppet says:

    Ha ha. I agree. I made an insane prediction about this on my blog a good while back. It’s the same with a lot of these advancements – in the hands of some utopian fair society run by the best of us for the rest of us, these things could yield great benefits. But in a dystopian society run by crooks for themselves against the rest of us, one way or another, I think we have good cause to be worried about these things. People complain about how kids behave now compared to the good old days. Well this may well be the good old days in, say, 50 years when kids are networked together in a subservient hive, when permanently medicated people have had the ast of their fight tamed out of them and are literally told what to think. All the warnings tried to give us last century went unheeded and their nightmare visions of the future are slowly, albeit slightly cosmetically differently, starting to come true.
    So I agree!

  3. cabrogal says:

    Yeah, the dreams of manic geeks like Musk are often the nightmares of the rest of us. Speaking as a manic geek myself …

    I’d really have to have a good look to know whether this is really such a big deal though. If the neurological markers are fully subject to conscious control it’s not really very different to how we use computers now. After all, our fingers are already linked to our brains. Using the word ‘symbiosis’ makes it more scary though. Symbiosis suggests co-operation, which in turn suggests that Musk already believes computers have aspirations and objectives, if not actual agency.

    And of course the instant you start using something internet connected your data is being harvested for corporate agendas. If you want to be really frightened about an immediate future (and present) that’s far more credible than Musk’s fantasies, take a look at this. You’d better watch out. Zuckerberg is coming to town.

    I’m a bit more laid back about artificial intelligence though. If by AI you mean expert systems, fine. They’re just tools. But if you mean computer based consciousness and sentience I don’t reckon they’re within coo-ee and that’s unlikely to change in our lifetimes. It’s like the old joke about fusion power. It’s only a generation away, and always will be. The truth is we don’t even have robust philosophical models for sentience, consciousness or self-determination, much less credible software specifications. The enthusiasts think that merely by simulating the the crude neurological correlates some neuroscientists think they’ve found that real independent entities will emerge from microchips. It’s sloppy thinking. Reifying metaphors of the brain as a computer combined with a bit of sympathetic magic and something akin to the cargo cult mentality of building something that looks a bit like an airport then waiting for the freight to arrive.

    We don’t imagine that by fully modelling the bonds between two hydrogens and an oxygen atom that we’re going to make our computers wet, yet some people think that by modeling the connections between neurons we can make them sentient.

    • Facebook is a hell of a jugganaut too, scary shit. Agree true integration is a long way off but the implication that its inevitable is what scares me, and it is.

      • cabrogal says:

        true integration is a long way off but the implication that its inevitable is what scares me, and it is.

        I’m not sure what you mean by ‘true integration’. Is someone with a cochlear implant truly integrated with his artificial ear? But if what you’re talking about involves artificial sentience or uploaded consciousness I ain’t buying. Even if you believe in the potential of science and technology to answer every question and solve every problem I’d suggest that the development curve of those innovations is considerably longer than the likely lifespan of our civilisation. Something’s gonna get us, that’s for sure. But it won’t be the wet dreams of Ray Kurzweil or Elon Musk.

      • cabrogal says:

        There’s one thing that I agree with Musk about though.

        If it’s possible to create an all-encompassing Matrix-like virtual reality then it’s almost certain we’re already living in one. If it can happen within the lifespan of a civilisation then given a universe big enough and ancient enough (like ours for instance) it will have already happened. If one such VR can be created, additional ones would be trivial. What’s more, if such a VR is also sufficiently huge and long-lived, further levels of VR will be developed from within that VR. What that means is that there’s a massive number super-VRs for every ‘real’ reality, so the chance we inhabit one of the real ones is infinitesimal.

        So if Musk is right, we’re already fully integrated with a machine and always have been. Where I think he goes wrong is in assuming that such a VR is possible. Of course I could be wrong. Quantum particles may not be particles at all. Perhaps they’re pixels.

  4. I still feel more threatened by Trump than by Musk!

  5. You guys are underestimating the benefits of this technology. The alternative is machines being independent from human biology. They will outpace us at an alarming rate without integration. Assimilate or be left behind.

  6. jac forsyth says:

    It’s gonna happen, but we don’t have to approach it like a trip to the gallows. Personally, if it’s in the hands of anyone, I’d rather it was Elon Musk. From this side of the Atlantic he seems to have integrity, he shares his technology and the application for disabilities is exciting. Not sure it would be the same if development was under government control.

  7. Thank you for scaring me this fine morning!

  8. Personally, I’m looking forward to the advancement. Getting the connection between neuromuscular to machine has been the missing link for a prosthetic eye for the blind, Camera technology has been there for decades, but there has been no real way to input the video to the nerves, so the brain can see what the camera sees. It could open other possibilities for prosthetics for amputees as well.

    As for virtual reality… ih… Though I’m not concerned by it, I can see how the trend of a dystopian culture could devolve as mentioned. Every invention intended for good has always had its abusers.

  9. DeScribe@TSA says:

    “do not make any machine in the likeness of man’s mind.”
    -The Butlerian Jihad
    Dune Chronicles- Frank Hetlrbert

  10. DeScribe@TSA says:

    “do not make any machine in the likeness of man’s mind”
    -The Butlerian Jihad
    Dune Chronicles – Frank Herbert

  11. Terrant says:

    With some of today’s superhero shows, it is very likely he could be an anti-hero. With the direction that some technology going, we could be in for that dystopian nightmares written about by science fiction writers.

  12. The last thing I need is to reboot myself after turning into a house cat…..

  13. Graham says:

    Welcome to the future…thankfully most of us will be dead by the time this sort of thing is realised I would hope!

  14. Greg H. says:

    I read that last week. and I believe I commented on the Blog about it. Ridiculous- yes, Frightened -no, I don’t think they’ll make it to me. And who knows, I may consider it right as soon as he comes of the installation chair. I think the first test participant was sitting , not laying down. Dony know, and I but Robocop came to mine. And I’m not too big on those type of flicks, but I like R.C. aND WITH THAT BEING SAID, here’s A LOL, RIGHT BACK AT U.

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