Are We Going To Be Cyborgs Soon?
Some think as artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to advance, it leaves humans behind. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, doesn’t think it should be.
Musk has acquired Neuralink, a company that aims to create a technology that links mind and computer seamlessly. He believes that humans will need to add a digital layer of intelligence to our brains as “human augmentation” — using technology to enhance human cognitive and other abilities. Musk believes that humans plus technology is greater than AI. That kind of technology is called “neural lace”.
Neural lace is a wireless brain-computer system that could work well symbiotically with the rest of the human body. Nanotechnologists have been working on this concept for years now. However, Musk suggests that instead of opening the skull, the technology could be something inserted through the jugular vein.
Recently, the brain-computer interfaces that we have revolutionized assistive technologies especially for those persons with disabilities. However, for the purposes of human augmentation, this will take at least two decades because of the following reasons:
(1) The project is too ambitious. Our current technology is still limited to come up with a prototype.
(2) Humans haven’t understood fully how the brain and the nervous system work. Scientists are still studying brain processes related to memory which are still not understood until today.
(3) The ethical issue that goes with invasive surgical procedures. Technology is one thing. But inserting something into the body is another. Topics like this ignite debates worldwide. Also, not all people would like to go under the knife.