• Jhn4
    5
    Hello,

    As you may be aware, Elon Musk, Billionaire, has a start up called Neuralink, which, in the future aims to alter our perceptions and inner workings with brain implants, so that we could become cyborgs.

    However, do we want to be interfered with on that level? Perhaps there are less invasive external options?

    What do you think the future holds? Will we become reliant on technologies that we must master, to stay relevant in this universe - or is there another option?
    1. Would you eventually become a user of mind altering technologies? (11 votes)
        Yes, brain implants are the way forward.
        18%
        Yes, but external devices rather than brain implants would be preferred.
        27%
        No, I don't want to be interfered with.
        55%
  • unenlightened
    4k
    It rather depends what It can do and what I cannot do. I don't care to make a universal decision either way.

  • Hanover
    5k
    It seems the distinction between now and the future is just how we'll interface with the technology. Currently we type in or speak to computers in order for them to do as we wish. If we could just think of what we wanted, it'd save us a little time I guess.
  • Pantagruel
    187
    I wouldn't do it. I don't even like being 'plugged in' to my phone....
  • Echarmion
    855
    In a technical sense, we are already cyborgs. We use technology to enhance our biological capabilities.

    While this is not usually what people have in mind, I think we're starting to see a trend towards "Sci-Fi" cyborgs with smartphones, voice assistants and wearable electronics.

    So, yes I think brain implants are the way forward.
  • praxis
    1.6k
    I thought I remembered Musk saying something to the effect that human intelligence enhancement might help keep us in the game (of life) once true AI was developed.
  • Hanover
    5k


    This technology has been around since the 70s.
  • Anthony
    168
    Will we become reliant on technologies that we must master, to stay relevant in this universe - or is there another option?Jhn4

    Relevant in the universe, eh? There is no small conflation of the human system with the universe in saying this. Intellectual dishonesty. Bad. With absolute power comes absolute responsibility. Is the idea here that through Neuralink, we may merge with the absolute? How stupid, elbow deep in illusory concepts.

    What is the end game with this sore of clap? I just don't get the kind of people who would want Neuralink. Narcissism on another level. There must be a hint in this unreflecting and ubiquitous, cankerous disease festering already in whatever is causing the narcissism epidemic. Mcluhan's understanding of narcissism is what has seemed most cogent: to the extent technological determinism is an extension of the senses and faculties of men, they see their own reflection in technics (selfie culture being the most patent symptom of this severe, widespread illness), but technology is not you okay. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. What the good intentions of something like Neuralink might be, haven't the slightest intimation.
  • Echarmion
    855
    I just don't get the kind of people who would want Neuralink.Anthony

    You don't get people who want more abilities/power?
  • Anthony
    168
    Perhaps it's the human intelligence in me that doesn't grok the human artificial intelligence (H.A.I: there's no such thing as an intelligent, understanding machine, only unintelligent, non understanding humans) in cyborg wannabes. Neuralink would lead to a quick fading of natural freedom and intelligence and the agency to regenerate, and remake your mind.

    Suffice it to say, I'm the type who just wants to be left alone. This would unstring me far more acutely than smartphone cyborgs do already.

    Technological determinism reaches its apex with this. Determinism. Repeat: determinism! Some small freedom in the mass surveilled state capitalism tickles my fancy, you might say. Its funny the eliminative materialists treat thought like demon possession, yet they would be the same types, due to inability to collate terminal contexts of our existence, which might use Neuralink. What would it feel like using this crap other than possession?
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    as Samuel Delaney said, "Science fiction is not ‘about the future.’ Science fiction is in dialogue with the present…[the science fiction writer] indulge in a significant distortion of the present that sets up a rich and complex dialogue with the reader’s here and now."

    In his novel Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand, many species bear implants which allow them to communicate directly with the General Information Service. One can mentally ask for and receive all kinds of information, like... what is the proper way to greet, eat with, and talk to the locals on a planet occupied by aliens you know nothing about. The needed information is added to your memory. No more faux pas! The Internet serves that function in a less powerful and on-board manner than General information, but the effect is similar. One can get all sorts of information quickly.

    Even the off-board Internet can affect one's thinking. IF one can get any telephone number, spelling, date reference, etc. from Google (or Bing, I suppose -- I don't know anybody who uses Bing much), then there is no need to remember, or possibly learn it in the first place. This makes one entirely dependent on Google, Bing, or somebody else, however. It could, if carried too far, deprive one of enough digested general information in one's head to think clearly and precisely. Autonomous brains need plenty of self-digested on-board information.

    ... to stay relevant in this universe ... ?Jhn4

    Relevant in THIS universe? A) it's the only universe we've got, and B) with whom are we competing in this universe such that we could/would become "irrelevant"?

    lon Musk, Billionaire, has a start up called Neuralink, which, in the future aims to alter our perceptions and inner workings with brain implants, so that we could become cyborgs.Jhn4

    Really, fuck you Elon Musk, and drop dead too. There are enough people already trying to alter our perceptions and inner workings WITHOUT brain implants.

    Who the hell would trust their brain (their being) to a corporation (even one started up by Elon Musk)?
  • ZhouBoTong
    507
    I thought I remembered Musk saying something to the effect that human intelligence enhancement might help keep us in the game (of life) once true AI was developed.praxis

    I find Musk's logic a little strange in this case. So, AI gets invented and it is everything he feared. These brain implants...are they connected to the internet or anything outside the human? If so, doesn't Neuralink just give the AI direct access to our brains? And the chips would have to be connected to the outside world in some way, or every software update would require brain surgery.
  • ZhouBoTong
    507
    Who the hell would trust their brain (their being) to a corporation (even one started up by Elon Musk)?Bitter Crank

    As someone who generally likes the idea of being enhanced, I entirely agree with this. They even made a movie titled "Gamer" about 10 years ago that showed the potential dystopian result of people handing their brains over to a corporation (it even has the guy from Dexter as an Elon Musk/Steve Jobs type baddie). Unless you like crappy action movies, I can't really recommend it, but it did warn against this behavior.
  • Pfhorrest
    159
    Yeah, like many potential future technology applications, I longingly dream of the possibility of the good it could do, but I'm also terrified of the harm it could do if misused.

    I dream of the ability to change the function of my mind, as there are lots of things it does poorly or shouldn't do at all, so a technology that makes that a possibility would be amazing. But fuck if I'm gonna trust Elon Musk to be in charge of deciding what changes to my mind happen. I've been slow enough to even adopt decades-old mind-altering pharmaceuticals, and only when they offered relief from some newly life-disrupting degrees of dysfunctions in my mind (the kind of things I dream of the ability to change). I probably won't trust any kind of brain-computer interface until it's been around for at least half of my life or if my life would end without it.

    But I really do hope for a day when I can trust it, and through such technology I can finally make my mind work the way I've always wanted it to. No more lapses in attention, no more forgetting things, no more missing logical implications of things, no more fruitless emotional unease, no more wandering off task, no more weakness of will. Just calm, clear-minded, intelligent observation, retention, digestion, planning, and follow-through.
  • Coben
    943
    I think the cellphone is a good warning signal. People are less connected to where they are even with the less intrusive cellphone. If children use cellphones, they lose the ability to read faces compared with peers. IOW amongst other effects, they are less empathetic. Not because they are not nice, but because they are not learning about facial expressions and tone of oice and how this relates to mood. Cellphones are adding stress, creating distance between people, reducing social skills and this is nothing compared to what an implant could do.

    And if you have an implant, you will be hacked. You will get viruses. You've made yourself into a cellphone, however many wonderful apps you have, given your brain size.
  • Wallows
    9k
    I'll probably be one of the first to trial it. I'm saving money for it.
  • Wallows
    9k
    Can any of you imagine communication between two lovers with Neuralinks?

    Jesus Christ...
  • praxis
    1.6k


    Maybe the enhanced intelligence could be powerful enough to prevent hacking. It’s all highly speculative at this point, as far as I know.
  • Wallows
    9k
    Maybe the enhanced intelligence could be powerful enough to prevent hacking. It’s all highly speculative at this point, as far as I know.praxis

    Like from the NSA? Guud luck.
  • TheMadFool
    4k
    While the general impression seems to be that cyborgs are "enhancements" the actual reality is they're mainly repair jobs done on people disabled in some way or other.

    I don't deny that abilities can be enhanced but they seem rather out-of-reach at the present.
  • ZhouBoTong
    507
    Maybe the enhanced intelligence could be powerful enough to prevent hacking. It’s all highly speculative at this point, as far as I know.praxis

    Agreed on highly speculative. But wouldn't AI be smarter and more powerful than any enhancements? Were all the enhancements developed entirely in secret with NOTHING leaked or caught on camera that the AI would have access to? Couldn't the AI come up with FAR better enhancements? IF AI is everything they fear (I am highly speculative of that), then we can only bow down to our overlords.
  • Pfhorrest
    159
    I think the gist of the cyborgs vs AI concern is that rather than humans building AI that will then replace humanity, humans can build AI to enhance humanity. Basically, the idea is to build a posthuman race out of a combinations of humans and machines, rather than building just purely autonomous machines that then supplant humanity. Whatever subsystems make an AI smarter, make those subsystems accessible to human minds too.

    For example, something I've often fantasized about: imagine a hypercompetent general artificial intelligence that has a completely blank personality, no memories, no beliefs, no intentions, just all the capacity to learn and decide and generally to think with exceeding efficiency, but nothing to get started on, just sitting there idle. Imagine you could read a human mind, feed its memories, beliefs, intentions, etc, into that system, which will then feel like it is the human whose mind was read, and do all of the thinking that that person would do, but with all of the hypercompetent efficiency of the AI. And then, rather than writing memories of that thought process to some external source, it just writes them back into the same human brain. From the perspective of that human, it would just feel like you were suddenly hyperintelligent; you would have memories of thought processes that felt like they were your own, just way more competent than yours naturally are. The human plus the empty shell of an AI would effectively function as a fully autonomous AI. But without the human, that fully autonomous AI would go back to nothing, so there is no worry about it supplanting the human it exists to augment; the AI would feel like it IS that human, and care about that human's preservation as much as the human itself would. Because they really are one joint being.
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