For many years, the subject of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been thrown around, and usually it is a topic of mass controversy. Many theories surround the subject, however, most people are undecided on whether AI would benefit or destroy humanity.
Over time, mass advances in technologies like algorithmic artificial intelligence, deep learning software, automation, and nanotechnology have only shown us that artificial intelligence will come to fruition, and quite possibly much sooner than we would have ever expected only twenty years ago.
According to entrepreneur Bryan Jackson, when discussing Kurzweil’s prediction of a cloud-based neocortex in the 2030’s, “Oh I think it will happen before that.”
Johnson’s most recent goals have involved the merging of artificial intelligence with humans, which many could argue is already existence on a large scale. If you take into consideration current smartphone technology and search engines, one might even go as far as to say that it is already here. However, Johnson envisions that it will be much deeper than that.
Using references to “neuroprosthetics” like cochlear implants, Johnson predicts a BCI (brain-computer interface), a synergistic relationship that would lie between the central nervous system and external computers. His newest prototype is something he refers to as a “neural lace”, which is a mesh that actually creates a BCI inside of the brain that releases different chemicals as they are needed by their controller.
“This idea that we would create an AI on Planet Earth smarter than human beings is asinine. There’s no reason to do that unless we want to slit our own throats,” Zoltan says. “But to use brain implants, neural devices, or EEG headsets to directly connect to a superior artificial intelligence—yes, that is something that I implicitly endorse. We need to become one with the intelligence we create; we need to remain an intrinsic part of it. We must become the machine by merging directly with it—and that’s what a direct interface between human brains and AI should be.”
Zoltan, similar to Hawking feels that AI must slowly be introduced to humanity,
“When we flick on that ‘on’ switch of the first AI that will be superior to us, we must insist we go along with it for the ride—that we are sitting in the driver’s seat. We can do this. It will take a Manhattan-sized project to make sure we cross all our ‘t’s, but we can do it. We should insist the smartest of us tap directly into AI before it fully launches.
“I see it like the sci-fi movie Contact, where the best contenders to meet an alien species compete for who is the most worthy to be the first one to do it—to represent the human race to another species. I think in the case of launching the first true AI smarter than human beings, we should form an international consortium that will pick the best 12 humans on Planet Earth, and via neural interface, merge them directly with that AI so we can know the best of the human race is with it—is hopefully leading it.”
If transhumanists such as Peter Thiel, Bryan Johnson, and Kurzweil are correct, it is 100% possible, if not probable, that we will see AI-human hybrids within the next few years. What exactly could this potential technology bring to the table, aside from the obvious? Unfortunately, although the assured existence of such technologies is no longer debatable, the debate surrounding what will come into existence with such technologies is not. Will AI bring us to a better point in humanity, or will it be the one thread that pulls it apart?