The modern man
Within the sphere of sci-fi nerdery there is a depressingly high number of tech prophecies yet unfulfilled by modern science. In this world, the flux capacitor is king, naturally, but trailing not far behind is the technological pinnacle of human evolution, cyborgs.
Apparently, it’s socially barbaric to express one’s need to become a superhuman amalgam of human and machine, unless of course you’re Elon Musk.
Domo arigato, Mr. Musk
This was a topic touched on in his speech Monday, at the 2017 World Government Summit in Dubai.
As alleged by the tech mogul, at the current rate of A.I. advancement, we humans will be quickly outpaced by the vastly superior input/output capabilities of our digital progeny.
When computers are able to communicate at “a trillion bits per second”, and the human brain at “about 10 bits per second”, to a race of ultra-intelligent A.I. the line between human and house cat quickly becomes inconsequential.So, in order to maintain our position as the dominant life form on the planet and avert an unpleasant Matrix-like end, we must cyborg. Click To Tweet
Musk contests that this is not as outrageous as it seems since most of the technology is already there. He thinks what may be the best solution is what he calls a “neural lace”. This is essentially an “A.I. layer” that would work in concert with our biological hardware, and allowing us to achieve “symbiosis with machines”. What is needed, says Musk, is a “direct cortical interface”. This is where it gets interesting.
My heart is human
From the sound of it, I think surgery. Massively invasive surgery. But according to Musk, it could be much simpler. “You could go through the veins and arteries because that provides a complete roadway to all of your neurons”. “Your neurons”, says Musk, “are very heavy users of energy, so they need very high blood flow, so you automatically with your veins and arteries have a road network to your neurons”.
At this point the technical details are nowhere near clear, but if Musk’s track record is any indicator, we may be able to remove “robot apocalypse” from the short list of humanity’s uncomfortable possibilities sooner than we think.