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Elon Musk’s plans to merge humans and AI could have some huge risks

Published Oct 17th, 2023 8:22PM EDT
Human brain implant
Image: Mopic/Adobe

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Elon Musk has been very open about his desire to create a brain implant that essentially merges humans and AI. While science fiction media has long posed this possibility, the reality is that it would require some pretty risky tech. Now, experts and former employees from Neuralink say that the company is choosing one of the riskiest methods to test it on humans.

Neuralink has showcased some really cool stuff. Neuralink has claimed that its implant allowed a monkey to play video games with its mind. That’s really epic stuff, especially if you’re looking at the possibilities it could open for paralyzed or disabled individuals. But Musk’s plans are bigger than just helping the needy.

In fact, The Vox reports that Musk wants to create a human-AI merger that lets humanity advance alongside AI, ensuring we aren’t left behind as the machines evolve. But just how feasible is something like that? Well, according to Neuralink employees, it’s pretty feasible. The problem, though, is Musk and Neuralink are going about it in a really risky way.

See, they’ve shown some great success in animal trials, and now they plan to move on to human-based trials. The problem, though, is that Neuralink plans to drill a hole in people’s heads in order to place the brain implant inside. This is, by far, one of the riskiest ways to try to install brain implants.

So why is the company pushing such a method? That’s unclear at the moment, but it feels like Neuralink’s plans are all part of a response to the fear that many have about how AI will take over the world and drive humanity to the brink of extinction. It isn’t a completely unfounded fear, as we’ve seen pioneers in the field of AI calling out warnings about the potential overthrow of humanity.

Not everyone is opposed to merging humans with AI. In fact, the power of brain implants could open new doors for medical treatment and improve lives altogether. But the big concern at play here is the fact that Neuralink wants to drill into people’s heads, and that’s not an easy thing to justify, especially if you look at all the data from the company’s previous trials.

It’s risky, and it could lead to more issues down the line. The smart thing would be to find some other way to install the brain implants that they want to use. And there are other ways, ways that Neuralink has advocated for in the past. So why exactly is it going with this option now? That’s the big question that everyone is asking. Maybe one day we’ll get an answer.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.