Musk told Axios that his neuroscience company, Neuralink, will have the technology “probably” within the next decade to fuse humans with artificial intelligence. In order to do this, Musk says Neuralink will produce an “electrode-to-neuron interface at a micro level,” basically “a chip and a bunch of tiny wires” that will be implanted into your skull.
So why does Musk want to turn us into cyborgs? He says it’s humanity’s only hope to survive the upcoming glut of super-intelligent machines powered by artificial intelligence that will take over the world and would otherwise push humanity to extinction.
Musk said the rise of such machines could force the surviving humans into small pockets of the Earth much like monkeys only inhabit tiny patches of the planet now because a smarter being–Homo sapiens–came along.
Musk also warned that humanity wasn’t seeing the obvious “existential threat” that AI poses to us–not just years into the future, but even today. One example Musk gave is someone using AI to power drones packed with explosives that could identify their kill targets via facial recognition:
“You could make a swarm of assassin drones for very little money. By just taking the face I.D. chip that’s used in cell phones, and having a small explosive charge and a standard drone, and just have it do a grid sweep of the building until they find the person they’re looking for, ram into them and explode. You could do that right now. . . . No new technology is needed.”
Oh, and if we think fake news is bad today, Musk says AI will make it infinitely worse, noting that AI that watches online feedback of humans reacting to news could then tweak its desired message “within milliseconds” to influence human behavior in everything from elections to the direction of their society.
Musk also warned that Washington is at risk of losing the war to control artificial intelligence:
“The way in which regulation is put in place is slow and linear. And we are facing an exponential threat. If you, if you have a linear response to an exponential threat, it’s quite likely the exponential threat will win. That, in a nutshell, is the issue.”
And as for the rest of us:
“We’re like children in a playground . . . We’re not paying attention. We worry more about . . . what name somebody called someone else . . . than whether AI will destroy humanity. That’s insane.”