back to article If you can't beat AI, join it: Boffinry biz baron Elon Musk backs brain-machine interface biz

Three years ago, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, mused that artificial intelligence represented humanity's biggest existential threat. With AI looking more like a near-term marketing opportunity for tech companies than an imminent apocalypse, Musk has dialed back the doomsaying and is now exploring how to connect computers …

  1. Steve Button

    Been reading Sci-Fi?

    Problem is when you read Iain M. Banks or Neal Asher, you can get wrapped up in that way of thinking as if it's inevitable and going to happen in the next few years. We are nowhere near getting neural lace, and Musk saying it's 3 years away is just crazy. (That was from a Vanity Fair article). Someday, perhaps. A.I. could happen sooner than many people think, but still decades away before Jarvis is really meaningfully useful.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Been reading Sci-Fi?

      A neural lace style device is not necessarily AI. Many SciFi implementations have it just as a regular computer/internet connection with a direct brain interface. In that case, the problem is much smaller though by no means small.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Been reading Sci-Fi?

      We're nowhere near a Neural Lace as Banks wrote it (backing up your entire consciousness on the fly) but nerve>electronics interfaces are on the cusp of becoming useful for paraplegics. But hey, Musk's Of I Still Love You is just a sea-bound barge and not a star-hopping General Systems Vehicle.

      On that note, voice-activated assistants are already useful for some people, though obviously not as capable as Jarvis or HAL.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Been reading Sci-Fi?

        "nerve>electronics interfaces are on the cusp of becoming useful for paraplegics."

        That would be useful.

        The sad thing is that just as Captain Cyborg's dreams are approaching reality, only dinosaurs (like me) even remember he once existed. And oh how we laughed.

        Hmmm. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but perhaps foresight is useful too.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Been reading Sci-Fi?

      Nope, but I did finally get to watch Black Mirror: White Christmas last night.

  2. Gordon Pryra

    Hmmmm Cyborgs

    What happens when the Cyborg feels more in common with the vending machine OS than the the "muggles"?

    Where do I sign up to put myself on the list for test subjects?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Hmmmm Cyborgs

      What happens when the Cyborg feels more in common with the vending machine OS

      Presumably the cyborg's empathy will encourage he/she/it to stand guard over a vending machine to stop us muggles giving the recalcitrant mechanism a good thump to dislodge that snagged packet of popcorn.

      Truly, the end of the world is nigh.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmmm Cyborgs

        No. The cyborg would probably help beat up the vending machine in order to better ingratiate itself with the humans.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Makes it a lot easier...

    For government or hackers to 'change your mind' doesn't it ?

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Makes it a lot easier...

      Who cares? You can just press the "release endorphins" button in your brain and bliss out :)

  4. Putters

    Pulp Sci Fi

    Nice little co-incidence. Have just waded through one of those Kindle 90p Sci Fi megapacks.

    One story of which seemed somewhat relevant.

    Fritz Leiber 1962 : The Creature from the Cleveland Depths.

  5. RyokuMas Silver badge

    "That's hardly enough to deliver rich-media ads directly to the brain."

    Wouldn't stop Google from trying though...

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Anyone remember Brainstorm? Piping the demo through an analog landline using an acoustic coupler? (Not to mention the ultimate sex tape.)

  6. BongoJoe
    Paris Hilton

    All of a sudden...

    ....internet pr0n becomes more appealing.

    Paris. Because...

  7. stucs201

    Five things they absolutely need to get right with this:

    1) Security.

    2) Compatibility/Standards - This needs to be a one-time install, without constant upgrades and/or getting stuck with something unsupported.

    3) Security.

    4) Avoiding obsolescence - See point 2.

    5) Did I mention security yet?

  8. DrM

    Neuralink experimental video uncovered!

  9. JeffyPoooh

    Think about the other direction...

    I can assure you that there exists no A.I., now or in the foreseeable future, that could survive seeing what's inside my head.

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