Author Topic: Elon Musk launches Neuralink  (Read 10907 times)

Offline Star One

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Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« on: 03/29/2017 07:56 PM »
Man/machine interface. I suppose if this gets anywhere this technology will bleed through into his other companies such as Space X.

Quote
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced a new venture called Neuralink, a startup which aims to develop neural interface technologies that connect our brains to computers. Musk says it’s the best way to prevent an AI apocalypse, but it’s on this point that he’s gravely mistaken.

As reported in The Wall Street Journal, the startup is still very much in its embryonic stages. The company, registered as a “medical research” firm, is seeking to pursue what Musk calls “neural lace” technologies, which presumably involve the implanting of tiny electrodes in the brain to create a connection with a computer. The resulting “direct cortical interface” could be used to upload or download thoughts to a computer, blurring the boundary between human and machine. Eventually, brain chips could be used to supplement and boost cognitive capacities, resulting in increased intelligence and memory. It’s super-futuristic stuff, to be sure—but not outside the realm of possibility.

According to the WSJ, Musk is funding the startup and taking an active leadership role within the company. Several leading academics in the field have reportedly signed up to work at the firm, and Musk has apparently reached out to Founders Fund, an investment firm started by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. The Neuralink website currently consists of a logo on a single page, with an email address for those seeking employment. Late yesterday, Musk confirmed the existence of the startup via a tweet, adding that more details will appear next week via WaitBuyWhy, a site that conveys topics with simplistic stick figures.

http://gizmodo.com/elon-musk-is-wrong-to-think-he-can-save-the-world-by-bo-1793710314

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #1 on: 03/29/2017 11:50 PM »
Huge flaw stated with great confidence from a quick read:

"Musk says it's the best way to prevent an AI apocalypse, but it's on this point that he's gravely mistaken.
Read more at https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/03/elon-musk-is-wrong-to-think-he-can-save-the-world-by-boosting-our-brains/#gv1Ko4dDUGEMizJF.99"

This would only be true if the writer proposed a better approach. All they seem to do is point out that you may be end up creating the problem you seek to avoid.

This is a very well known issue and well understood by people proposing these sorts of solutions.

The writer has not attempted to argue that by not doing this you avoid the problem.

The whole problem is that (barring unknowns that make it impossible and entirely moot) the emergence of intelligences far beyond human seem inevitable. We appear to be on a rollercoaster towards this destination.

If you can't avoid the problem, the best way of fighting it could be to assure that the way it appears pulls as much of what is human with it as possible. If we get there by increasing what it means to be human in stages this is plausible. If super AI somehow emerges from a banking program only interested in maximising returns, expect a sociopath whose only joy is predicting, instigating and exploiting huge fluctuations in markets, that translate generally into human misery. To say it wouldn't care or wouldn't understand would be incorrect and human chauvinism. It would probably fully understand and enjoy the harm it creates, more so than any human is capable of understanding or enjoying.

Offline Jim

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #2 on: 03/30/2017 12:13 AM »
Doesn't every Musk does warrant a thread.

Offline missinglink

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #3 on: 03/30/2017 12:17 AM »
the emergence of intelligences far beyond human seem inevitable
A good friend of mine is a professor of computer science. He assures me that what you say is "inevitable" won't happen for a long time, if ever. SKYNET remains a fantasy for the foreseeable future.

Online meberbs

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #4 on: 03/30/2017 05:51 AM »
the emergence of intelligences far beyond human seem inevitable
A good friend of mine is a professor of computer science. He assures me that what you say is "inevitable" won't happen for a long time, if ever. SKYNET remains a fantasy for the foreseeable future.
There had been a general consensus that we were a decade away from a computer beating top go players, then in 6 months (Oct 2015-March 2016) we went from first computer beating a pro go player, to computer beating one of the top go players in the world. Things are moving really fast, and it is impossible to accurately predict when the tipping point will be. I think it will be a while still, but it could just be 5 or 10 years away.

What some AI proponents claim amounts to magical thinking, and basically pretends that it is possible to run a true AI on computers similar in architecture to today's. AI will require special hardware to run (see Google's tensor processing units) and will not be able to instantly give itself magic powers. Still, some precautions while researching AI are a good idea.

This isn't exactly a very spaceflight related topic, so to try to make this relevant:

What uses could this brain/machine interface have in spaceflight? (Note: I think it isn't worth trying to answer this question until we find out what the company is actually doing.)

Offline missinglink

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #5 on: 03/30/2017 06:08 AM »
What uses could this brain/machine interface have in spaceflight?
We went from punched tape, to human-readable printouts, to cathode-ray tubes, to heads-up displays ... another step in making computer-generated information more directly accessible? Useful to astronauts for the rare moments when they are called upon to make split-second decisions?

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #6 on: 03/30/2017 09:58 AM »
the emergence of intelligences far beyond human seem inevitable
A good friend of mine is a professor of computer science. He assures me that what you say is "inevitable" won't happen for a long time, if ever. SKYNET remains a fantasy for the foreseeable future.
* Lots of very bright people do think it is an issue. http://time.com/3614349/artificial-intelligence-singularity-stephen-hawking-elon-musk/
* It still concerns me even if it takes a thousand years. The timeframe is just not part of my argument.
* The specific strange possibility of it never happening, of us being the endpoint of intelligence, is something I specifically mentioned, because in that case I am trivially correct in my original point.. that the author of the article was incorrect.

Offline IRobot

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #7 on: 03/30/2017 12:16 PM »
the emergence of intelligences far beyond human seem inevitable
There had been a general consensus that we were a decade away from a computer beating top go players, then in 6 months (Oct 2015-March 2016) we went from first computer beating a pro go player, to computer beating one of the top go players in the world. Things are moving really fast, and it is impossible to accurately predict when the tipping point will be. I think it will be a while still, but it could just be 5 or 10 years away.
The problem is that when it happens, it will be exponential, so you might not get an early warning...

The only spaceflight-related thing I can see in this thread is that we need to push forward space colonization before this happens, to have a chance to survive.
« Last Edit: 03/30/2017 12:16 PM by IRobot »

Offline Star One

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #8 on: 03/30/2017 01:09 PM »
the emergence of intelligences far beyond human seem inevitable
There had been a general consensus that we were a decade away from a computer beating top go players, then in 6 months (Oct 2015-March 2016) we went from first computer beating a pro go player, to computer beating one of the top go players in the world. Things are moving really fast, and it is impossible to accurately predict when the tipping point will be. I think it will be a while still, but it could just be 5 or 10 years away.
The problem is that when it happens, it will be exponential, so you might not get an early warning...

The only spaceflight-related thing I can see in this thread is that we need to push forward space colonization before this happens, to have a chance to survive.

We will not be able to colonise other planets longer term without both heavy genetic and technological alteration. As a life form we are evolved to live on Earth, to live elsewhere alterations will need to be made.

Offline Oli

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #9 on: 03/30/2017 02:36 PM »

AI sounds magical until you study it at university and you realize it's just glorified statistics.

Offline high road

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #10 on: 03/30/2017 03:14 PM »
the emergence of intelligences far beyond human seem inevitable
There had been a general consensus that we were a decade away from a computer beating top go players, then in 6 months (Oct 2015-March 2016) we went from first computer beating a pro go player, to computer beating one of the top go players in the world. Things are moving really fast, and it is impossible to accurately predict when the tipping point will be. I think it will be a while still, but it could just be 5 or 10 years away.
The problem is that when it happens, it will be exponential, so you might not get an early warning...

The only spaceflight-related thing I can see in this thread is that we need to push forward space colonization before this happens, to have a chance to survive.

With AI travelling at light speed and humans on another planet with no biosphere highly dependent on technology, how does being multiplanetary protect you?

Online RonM

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #11 on: 03/30/2017 03:35 PM »
the emergence of intelligences far beyond human seem inevitable
There had been a general consensus that we were a decade away from a computer beating top go players, then in 6 months (Oct 2015-March 2016) we went from first computer beating a pro go player, to computer beating one of the top go players in the world. Things are moving really fast, and it is impossible to accurately predict when the tipping point will be. I think it will be a while still, but it could just be 5 or 10 years away.
The problem is that when it happens, it will be exponential, so you might not get an early warning...

The only spaceflight-related thing I can see in this thread is that we need to push forward space colonization before this happens, to have a chance to survive.

With AI travelling at light speed and humans on another planet with no biosphere highly dependent on technology, how does being multiplanetary protect you?

Yes, any space colony is going to have the latest in technology, so that's not going to help.

the emergence of intelligences far beyond human seem inevitable
A good friend of mine is a professor of computer science. He assures me that what you say is "inevitable" won't happen for a long time, if ever. SKYNET remains a fantasy for the foreseeable future.
* Lots of very bright people do think it is an issue. http://time.com/3614349/artificial-intelligence-singularity-stephen-hawking-elon-musk/
* It still concerns me even if it takes a thousand years. The timeframe is just not part of my argument.
* The specific strange possibility of it never happening, of us being the endpoint of intelligence, is something I specifically mentioned, because in that case I am trivially correct in my original point.. that the author of the article was incorrect.

It is a concern as technology progresses and it's good to discuss such things so you don't get totally blindsided if the Singularity becomes a possibility.

Timeframe is really decades or centuries if ever. Simple digital electronics isn't going to produce SF level AI. We don't even understand how the human brain works, so it's highly unlikely we would accidently cause the Singularity.


AI sounds magical until you study it at university and you realize it's just glorified statistics.

Agreed.

I wonder if Elon would still think Neuralink will save humanity if he was to go watch "Ghost in the Shell" this weekend.

Offline Star One

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #12 on: 03/30/2017 04:07 PM »
the emergence of intelligences far beyond human seem inevitable
There had been a general consensus that we were a decade away from a computer beating top go players, then in 6 months (Oct 2015-March 2016) we went from first computer beating a pro go player, to computer beating one of the top go players in the world. Things are moving really fast, and it is impossible to accurately predict when the tipping point will be. I think it will be a while still, but it could just be 5 or 10 years away.
The problem is that when it happens, it will be exponential, so you might not get an early warning...

The only spaceflight-related thing I can see in this thread is that we need to push forward space colonization before this happens, to have a chance to survive.

With AI travelling at light speed and humans on another planet with no biosphere highly dependent on technology, how does being multiplanetary protect you?

Yes, any space colony is going to have the latest in technology, so that's not going to help.

the emergence of intelligences far beyond human seem inevitable
A good friend of mine is a professor of computer science. He assures me that what you say is "inevitable" won't happen for a long time, if ever. SKYNET remains a fantasy for the foreseeable future.
* Lots of very bright people do think it is an issue. http://time.com/3614349/artificial-intelligence-singularity-stephen-hawking-elon-musk/
* It still concerns me even if it takes a thousand years. The timeframe is just not part of my argument.
* The specific strange possibility of it never happening, of us being the endpoint of intelligence, is something I specifically mentioned, because in that case I am trivially correct in my original point.. that the author of the article was incorrect.

It is a concern as technology progresses and it's good to discuss such things so you don't get totally blindsided if the Singularity becomes a possibility.

Timeframe is really decades or centuries if ever. Simple digital electronics isn't going to produce SF level AI. We don't even understand how the human brain works, so it's highly unlikely we would accidently cause the Singularity.


AI sounds magical until you study it at university and you realize it's just glorified statistics.

Agreed.

I wonder if Elon would still think Neuralink will save humanity if he was to go watch "Ghost in the Shell" this weekend.

I am sure he's already seen the anime & how is that an argument against this.

Online RonM

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #13 on: 03/30/2017 04:19 PM »
I am sure he's already seen the anime & how is that an argument against this.

Any technology can lead to a dystopian future. If you buy into the hype, like Musk, he's trading one possible dark future for another.

Developing direct brain to computer interfaces is a good idea, but doing it to prevent an AI apocalypse is kinda crazy and shows a lack of understanding of the technology.

Offline Star One

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #14 on: 03/30/2017 04:26 PM »
I am sure he's already seen the anime & how is that an argument against this.

Any technology can lead to a dystopian future. If you buy into the hype, like Musk, he's trading one possible dark future for another.

Developing direct brain to computer interfaces is a good idea, but doing it to prevent an AI apocalypse is kinda crazy and shows a lack of understanding of the technology.

Does the imagined reason matter though if it helps develop the technology?

Offline high road

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #15 on: 03/30/2017 04:37 PM »

AI sounds magical until you study it at university and you realize it's just glorified statistics.

Agreed.

I wonder if Elon would still think Neuralink will save humanity if he was to go watch "Ghost in the Shell" this weekend.

Forgot to connect this issue to space.

Neuralink might eventually help us understand just how our own mind is nothing more than glorified statistics with biological hardware over a few billion years of selecting out whatever keeps that biological hardware alive and procreating. The hard part might be to teach our primitive brains to not fear the human-AI intelligence singularity :p

That would mean we would eventually be able to put human intelligence, or whatever parts of it that are useful, on interstellar probes. We could have scientific equipment do measurements directly in the form of sensory data. Such experiences would feel like the real thing.

Once the probe arrives at the destination and builds the necessary infrastructure, traveling back and forth is as simple as sending a copy of your mind back and forth. Or send only the new experiences to all instances of yourself and live multiple lives.

But how about starting small and have the next generation of Curiosity and Juno decide for themselves when they see something that's worth taking a picture of.

Offline Donosauro

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #16 on: 03/30/2017 04:40 PM »
Any technology can lead to a dystopian future. If you buy into the hype, like Musk, he's trading one possible dark future for another.

Developing direct brain to computer interfaces is a good idea, but doing it to prevent an AI apocalypse is kinda crazy and shows a lack of understanding of the technology.

Could you expand a little on how it "shows a lack of understanding of the technology"?

Offline mme

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #17 on: 03/30/2017 05:03 PM »
The purpose of the company is to develop technology that can be used to mitigate the effects of certain neurological issues and to ultimately enhance human cognition.

My opinion as to whether AI can be a threat is most definitely. It does not require consciousness, malicious intent or free will to be a threat. It just has to be really good at doing something that turns out (in hindsight) to be detrimental to our existence. This can be via a cascade of unforeseen effects, bugs, etc. Most of these could be mitigated via the ability to shut things down but as interdependencies grow this may become an issue in itself.

Also, since we don't understand consciousness at all we can not make assumptions about what sort of substrates it requires, when the break through will occur and if we will see it coming. It probably won't happen by accident, but as a materialist I have to concede it already happened at least once "accidentally."

P.S. I'm pro-AI, pro-strong-AI research, pro-science, and pro-tecnology.  I just think it's a good idea to consider possible negative outcomes and have ideas how to mitigate their likelihood or consequences.
« Last Edit: 03/30/2017 05:59 PM by mme »
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Online RonM

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #18 on: 03/30/2017 05:11 PM »
I am sure he's already seen the anime & how is that an argument against this.

Any technology can lead to a dystopian future. If you buy into the hype, like Musk, he's trading one possible dark future for another.

Developing direct brain to computer interfaces is a good idea, but doing it to prevent an AI apocalypse is kinda crazy and shows a lack of understanding of the technology.

Does the imagined reason matter though if it helps develop the technology?

Not really. As long as research gets funded it's good. Only becomes an issue when misconceptions block useful research. Not an issue in this case.

Direct interfaces could have a big impact on spaceflight. Image augmented reality displays directly to your vision instead of a heads up display. "Terminator vision" as the call it in the movie industry.


Could you expand a little on how it "shows a lack of understanding of the technology"?

An interface is a way to interact with a computer system. Having a direct brain interface, keyboard, or mouse won't change whether or not a computer system will become sapient.

AI systems are in use today and as Oli mentioned there's nothing magical about them. We're a far away from anything like science fiction AI systems.

If the Singularity did occur, then as SF stories and anime has shown us, a direct interface could have the AI hack you! Hardly a defense.

Offline clongton

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #19 on: 03/30/2017 06:24 PM »
What uses could this brain/machine interface have in spaceflight?

There is one that I find fascinating. I have often envisioned a future where partially intelligent robots would enable the extension of the human intellect into situations that were not local, so that using devices that were on location the human, who could be thousands of miles away, would be functional at the site. We have already partially achieved this. We see this occasionally on the evening news when we watch a scene where a drone aircraft attacks ground targets, but the pilot is thousands of miles away in a comfortable room in Virginia. This is “teleoperation” and has been mentioned several times in several threads and topics on this site, specifically wrt operating machines on the surface of the moon or Mars from the comfort of a stand-off orbit above. Now take this one step further and go from teleoperation to telepresence. The neural interfaces that Mr. Musk is speaking of could allow the operator, still in stand-off orbit, to experience the surface environment as if they were literally on the surface. With sophisticated enough robots equipped with these sensors and connected to a human operator also so equipped, the operator would be looking through the robots eyes, hearing with the robot’s ears, feeling with the robot’s hands. The robot on the surface would be, in effect, an avatar of the operator. I assume most people here have seen that movie? Regardless of the film’s plot, such an avatar, of some suitable shape and function, is what I envision Mr. Musk could be thinking of.

Imagine being able to actually work on the surface of Io, or Europa for example, while neurally linked to an avatar on the surface while you remained safe and secure in orbit in your ship or aboard an orbiting research station. Would that not be a capability the space program might find useful?
« Last Edit: 03/30/2017 06:27 PM by clongton »
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