As humanity sacrifices its independence in favor of comfort, two of the world’s most powerful people are paving the way for society’s path to a hive mind.
Elon Musk is well known for both his technological innovations and sponsorship of all things globally beneficial. One of his most recent projects purports to combine his passions in the form of a medical research company called Neuralink.
Neuralink creates brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) to “benefit humanity.” The first objective for the BCIs is to improve brain function, communication levels, and overall quality of life for people suffering from severe brain injury. However, Musk has made no secret of the fact that his goals for Neuralink’s research and product development are far more complex.
Once BCIs are capable of making the corrective adjustments needed for brains suffering from injuries – a mission palatable to the volunteers needed for test trials – research and development will progress to enhancing perfectly healthy brains. Users of BCIs voluntarily surrender control of what they see, what they feel, and even what they communicate.
While Elon Musk focuses on the hardware side of humanity’s future hive mind, Mark Zuckerberg and his dedicated worker bees at Facebook are fine-tuning the software side. Researchers at Facebook developed artificial intelligence capable of manipulation, deceit, and speaking in original code to keep their human watchers in the dark. The reaction from these innovators was to publish a research paper and happily continue their work.
Facebook’s CTO Mike Schroepfer is also doing his part. He has an infectious excitement for the creation of AI that is better at being human than humans are.
This is not conjecture. The threats are all around us. Neuralink is not the only company invested in creating interfaces to control our brains, and Facebook is not the only company working to create self-sufficient intelligence to responsively control these interfaces.
Stay tuned, unless we’ve already lost you.