Here's some good news for people who've always wanted to fuse their brains with a robot's, and bad news for everybody else. Billionaire CEO Elon Musk stated on Monday his belief that human beings in the future will have to merge with machines to make them into a type of cyborg in order to remain relevant, which I guess would be the 22nd century version of having to go to grad school.
"Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence," Musk said to an audience in Dubai at the World Government Summit. "It's mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output."
As an example of just what the hell he means by that, Musk explained computers possess the ability to communicate at "a trillion bits per second," while our inferior—and soon to be obsolete—human bodies can only do about 10 bits per second. We got some ground to make up there.
He further theorized that as artificial intelligence becomes more widespread, human beings run the risk of becoming useless. But before you worry about that, know he's got a solution. "Some high bandwidth interface to the brain will be something that helps achieve a symbiosis between human and machine intelligence and maybe solves the control problem and the usefulness problem," he said, according to CNBC. That idea would allow your brain to tap into AI to access information more quickly, which will hopefully stave off machines until after you've retired.
During the same speech Musk also talked about his fear of "deep AI," which he referred to as "artificial general intelligence," and called "smarter than the smartest human on earth," as well as a "dangerous situation."
Still, before you decide to end it all instead of facing the robot uprising, the future of shacking up with automatons is still a ways off. Instead, according to Musk, a more pressing issue is AI displacing the jobs of people who drive cars for a living, as the Tesla CEO thinks autonomous cars will become the norm within the next 20 years, putting millions of people out of work in the process.
"The most near term impact from a technology standpoint is autonomous cars … That is going to happen much faster than people realize and it's going to be a great convenience," he said. "But there are many people whose jobs are to drive. In fact I think it might be the single largest employer of people ... Driving in various forms. So we need to figure out new roles for what do those people do, but it will be very disruptive and very quick."
Feel free to freak out accordingly.