Author Topic: Elon Musk launches Neuralink  (Read 8000 times)

Offline Vultur

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #40 on: 04/09/2017 04:53 AM »
And nothing about AI is supposed to be alarming yet. It's just a simple question of: do we have a pseudo religious belief that the human brain can never be exceeded in creativity, understanding, expression, and flexibility? Because I don't see any fundamental reason why the human brain cannot be superceded one day in capability. It's that very basic fact that motivates all this. How do you keep humans from becoming hopelessly obsolete?

If that seems absurd to you, then please make a sound case that the human brain can never be exceeded in the areas I've outlined.

Maybe not never, but it's not going to happen in our lifetimes. We don't even understand the human brain well enough to fix very simple chemical imbalances (treat with medication, yes, but not cure)

I don't know about you, but I'd think that the ultimate way that machines could "serve us" would be to cure us of the great incurable disease - mortality.

Eh - that assumes that physical immortality is desirable, which I'm not at all convinced of. Living to 150 or 200 would be nice, and I think probably workable, but I'm not at all convinced that a mind could deal with - say - 2,000 years of (subjectively experienced) time, remain sane, and still be what we'd consider 'human' (in the "internal" sense, not the biological species sense).

Online ChrisWilson68

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #41 on: 04/09/2017 05:13 AM »
And nothing about AI is supposed to be alarming yet. It's just a simple question of: do we have a pseudo religious belief that the human brain can never be exceeded in creativity, understanding, expression, and flexibility? Because I don't see any fundamental reason why the human brain cannot be superceded one day in capability. It's that very basic fact that motivates all this. How do you keep humans from becoming hopelessly obsolete?

If that seems absurd to you, then please make a sound case that the human brain can never be exceeded in the areas I've outlined.

Maybe not never, but it's not going to happen in our lifetimes. We don't even understand the human brain well enough to fix very simple chemical imbalances (treat with medication, yes, but not cure)

We don't have to fully understand the human brain to exceed it.

Computers today can exceed the human brain in many ways already.  It's impossible to say with any certainty in what other way we will exceed the human brain 5 or 10 years from today.  All we have to do is exceed it in some critical way that lets our machines design even better computers and you get a very fast runaway explosion in the intelligence of computers.

I don't know about you, but I'd think that the ultimate way that machines could "serve us" would be to cure us of the great incurable disease - mortality.

Eh - that assumes that physical immortality is desirable, which I'm not at all convinced of. Living to 150 or 200 would be nice, and I think probably workable, but I'm not at all convinced that a mind could deal with - say - 2,000 years of (subjectively experienced) time, remain sane, and still be what we'd consider 'human' (in the "internal" sense, not the biological species sense).

We've never experienced life for 2,000 years, so it's just speculation, but I see no evidence that this would be particularly unpleasant.

And, if it did lead to some unpleasantness, I think it likely we could tweak our minds a bit to bring us back into continuing to live happy lives for billions of years and still be what most people would consider human in the internal sense.

Offline Vultur

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #42 on: 04/09/2017 05:30 AM »
We don't have to fully understand the human brain to exceed it.

Computers today can exceed the human brain in many ways already.

In many ways, but not the ways you need to get strong AI/sapience.

Quote
All we have to do is exceed it in some critical way that lets our machines design even better computers and you get a very fast runaway explosion in the intelligence of computers.

Eh... the word intelligence gets used in different ways, and I think that's a critical ambiguity here. I don't think any degree of improvement in the sorts of things computers now do will lead to strong AI/sapience. The nature of digital electronics is fundamentally different from brains in (IMO) critical ways.

Which isn't to say AI is fundamentally impossible, just that it probably won't arise from current approaches or developments of current computing technologies.

Online Lar

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #43 on: 04/09/2017 12:49 PM »
Do the laws of physics prevent us from building a machine based consciousness that is superior to humans in some ways? Or from building devices that let us interface directly from the brain? Or from modeling neurons with high enough fidelity that we can expect emergent behavior?

I think the answer is no to all of the above. Physics does not prevent any of this. So, while all of this may be terrifically hard, I don't see it as impossible.

That said... (mod hat on) let's not go down the general political hole of what societal and economic effects automation has. Some people voiced some opinions (that automation causes overall unemployment, for example) that are not necessarily fact. Debating those would be far far off topic even if this were the Space Policy section, which it isn't. Thanks!

(anyone is welcome to go to my wall on FB and we could have a discussion there... but this isn't there)
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Ludus

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #44 on: 04/20/2017 05:35 PM »
It's worth noting that  http://waitbutwhy.com will have a post soon that's a sort of semi-official explanation of this project.

Tim Urban isn't one for meeting deadlines but he does talk to Musk extensively before writing one of his long essays.

Online Navier–Stokes

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #45 on: 04/20/2017 09:15 PM »
It's worth noting that  http://waitbutwhy.com will have a post soon that's a sort of semi-official explanation of this project.

Tim Urban isn't one for meeting deadlines but he does talk to Musk extensively before writing one of his long essays.
And the article is out: Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future. As an engineer in the biomedical sector with some transhumanist tendencies, I am very much looking forward to reading it through.
« Last Edit: 04/20/2017 09:20 PM by Navier–Stokes »

Offline Star One

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #46 on: 04/20/2017 09:42 PM »
Facebook wants to get in on this sector as well.

Look under the section about the secretive Building 8.

https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/04/f8-2017-day-2/

Offline stefan r

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #47 on: 04/21/2017 02:08 AM »
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?

Why limit your senses?  You could flux the magnetic field.  See the polarization.  Shades of microwave could blend with green and UV-C.  You could also mix the sense types.  Sonar and topography scanning come to mind.  Within our sense of vision we have both focal and peripheral.  That could be greatly extended.  You could see 360 and/or microscope and/or telescope.  You could also see an object from multiple angles up to 360 if it was inside your sensor array.

The human brain automatically filters a lot of data.  Your eyes pick up photons.  Part of the brain will screen for faces at the same time that other parts of the brain screen for things like motion.  Ideas like "it is a humanoid", "it is named Bob", and "I am going to run into it if we continue on the course" come to the conscious mind from different parts of the brain.  Usually the anti-collision awareness gets the message and acts before your conscious mind gets the message.  That could be useful in spaceflight.

Everyone likes to talk about rocket science.  The cyborg horror is best illustrated by the effect of the radio bar code reader.  In practice amazon employees already interface between human muscles and the servers in fulfillment centers.  Employees move around like zombies and do not (usually) consciously think about what they are doing.  With a direct cyborg connection you can read barcode directly through the eye.  Braille barcodes could be read with touch. 

You might know that you are holding a bottle of soylent.  With augmentation that bottle could have tastes like steak, chocolate, or perhaps wine from Kathrine the Great's cellar.  After lunch you will be turned on by the idea of filling another tote. Dropping it on the conveyor will give you both relief and great satisfaction.  Why think about space travel when you can punch in at work? 

Offline Ludus

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #48 on: 04/21/2017 04:00 PM »
It's worth noting that  http://waitbutwhy.com will have a post soon that's a sort of semi-official explanation of this project.

Tim Urban isn't one for meeting deadlines but he does talk to Musk extensively before writing one of his long essays.
And the article is out: Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future. As an engineer in the biomedical sector with some transhumanist tendencies, I am very much looking forward to reading it through.

This is a 38,000 word post with lots of illustrations and is I think very well done. It's definitely worth reading to get an idea of what Musk's intentions are with Neuralink.

Offline philw1776

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #49 on: 04/21/2017 06:43 PM »
Elon's wrong about us possibly being pets to AI like house cats.  Humans have been unconsciously enslaved by cats to do their bidding.  Watch a human and cat interact about opening a door to look/go outside.
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

Offline Star One

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #50 on: 04/21/2017 10:49 PM »
It's worth noting that  http://waitbutwhy.com will have a post soon that's a sort of semi-official explanation of this project.

Tim Urban isn't one for meeting deadlines but he does talk to Musk extensively before writing one of his long essays.
And the article is out: Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future. As an engineer in the biomedical sector with some transhumanist tendencies, I am very much looking forward to reading it through.

This is a 38,000 word post with lots of illustrations and is I think very well done. It's definitely worth reading to get an idea of what Musk's intentions are with Neuralink.

Very good piece. In my book you can often tell the worth of a piece like this by how much new you learn from it, which in this case was a lot.

Offline Ludus

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #51 on: 04/22/2017 02:24 AM »
Elon's wrong about us possibly being pets to AI like house cats.  Humans have been unconsciously enslaved by cats to do their bidding.  Watch a human and cat interact about opening a door to look/go outside.

Musk said he considered the housecat outcome one of the good ones. So he probably would agree.

Offline stefan r

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #52 on: 04/22/2017 11:34 AM »
It's worth noting that  http://waitbutwhy.com will have a post soon that's a sort of semi-official explanation of this project.

Tim Urban isn't one for meeting deadlines but he does talk to Musk extensively before writing one of his long essays.
And the article is out: Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future. As an engineer in the biomedical sector with some transhumanist tendencies, I am very much looking forward to reading it through.

This is a 38,000 word post with lots of illustrations and is I think very well done. It's definitely worth reading to get an idea of what Musk's intentions are with Neuralink.

Very good piece. In my book you can often tell the worth of a piece like this by how much new you learn from it, which in this case was a lot.

Is a very good article.
Quote
I asked Elon a question that pops into everyone’s mind when they first hear about thought communication:

“So, um, will everyone be able to know what I’m thinking?”

He assured me they would not. “People won’t be able to read your thoughts—you would have to will it. If you don’t will it, it doesn’t happen. Just like if you don’t will your mouth to talk, it doesn’t talk.” Phew.
How can he claim that?  I cannot decide to not perceive an itch. My headaches do not go away without drugs,  and my wife distracts me about feeding the cat while I am trying to write a forum post.  Data is constantly entering the upper brain involuntarily.  Why would the tertiary brain be any different?  Not sending signals could be like holding your breath, slowing your heart, or holding on to an object that is burning you.  Maybe harder like adjusting your liver output. 

Offline Star One

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Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #53 on: 04/22/2017 11:42 AM »
I re-posted a link to the article in a general sci-fi forum where you thought people would be keen to hear about this future. Instead I got lots of people posting about they weren't going to let the government or companies put things in their head.... Ironically a number of these appeared to have been posted from their smartphones judging by the signatures.
« Last Edit: 04/22/2017 11:43 AM by Star One »

Online RonM

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #54 on: 04/22/2017 04:14 PM »
It's worth noting that  http://waitbutwhy.com will have a post soon that's a sort of semi-official explanation of this project.

Tim Urban isn't one for meeting deadlines but he does talk to Musk extensively before writing one of his long essays.
And the article is out: Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future. As an engineer in the biomedical sector with some transhumanist tendencies, I am very much looking forward to reading it through.

This is a 38,000 word post with lots of illustrations and is I think very well done. It's definitely worth reading to get an idea of what Musk's intentions are with Neuralink.

Very good piece. In my book you can often tell the worth of a piece like this by how much new you learn from it, which in this case was a lot.

Is a very good article.
Quote
I asked Elon a question that pops into everyone’s mind when they first hear about thought communication:

“So, um, will everyone be able to know what I’m thinking?”

He assured me they would not. “People won’t be able to read your thoughts—you would have to will it. If you don’t will it, it doesn’t happen. Just like if you don’t will your mouth to talk, it doesn’t talk.” Phew.
How can he claim that?  I cannot decide to not perceive an itch. My headaches do not go away without drugs,  and my wife distracts me about feeding the cat while I am trying to write a forum post.  Data is constantly entering the upper brain involuntarily.  Why would the tertiary brain be any different?  Not sending signals could be like holding your breath, slowing your heart, or holding on to an object that is burning you.  Maybe harder like adjusting your liver output.

It depends on the technology and how the device is designed. If the interface is designed like a smartphone built into your brain that interfaces with your senses, then you would have to mentally manipulate it. It wouldn't read all of your thoughts, just the ones you direct to the device.

For example, when you use your phone to send a text, the person receiving the text only gets the information you sent them, not the thought process behind the message.

However, if the device does interface with your senses, you could be "hacked" just like a smart phone. The hacker wouldn't read your thoughts, but could see and hear everything you do. That would take the concept of "Big Brother" surveillance to a new level.

Even if you couldn't be hacked, you could still record. Remember how people reacted to Google Glass and the ability to take pictures without people knowing? Another blow against your privacy even if you don't have an interface.

Offline sanman

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #55 on: 04/23/2017 07:26 PM »
Who's to say that this type of interface might not get hacked? In the age of cyber-theft and industrial espionage, all kinds of things can be subverted that we never really gave consideration to, including even your cable TV set top box.

In the age of the Internet of Things, people are already worried that the devices they use are invisibly reporting back data on their usage back to others, in a way that we have no control over. Do you want a device that's able to monitor your thoughts, or the state of your brain, and sending it to who knows where?

What happens if there's an electronic glitch? You might be the recipient of some unpleasant feedback.

There are already concerns about the electric and magnetic fields of devices like cellphones and electric razors potentially being able to cause cancer. Who knows what the medical effects can be? When even VR displays have been known to cause nausea, etc, who knows what kind of unpleasant effects could be caused by a more intimate interface. Our brains did not evolve to be plugged in like this.

And then there's the idea that we'll all somehow wind up plugged into the Matrix - that this voluntary gadget eventually becomes an involuntary, imposed thing - a technology that could be misused and abused.

Still, telepresence could be essential to space operations, and making fuller use of robotics.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #56 on: 04/23/2017 07:36 PM »
No one. Including not the author of the Wait But Why article, which devotes a section to concerns like this.
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Offline sanman

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #57 on: 04/23/2017 09:06 PM »
Okay, I just read that section, and here are further thoughts:

Regarding that whole "sensory decoupling" thing - then you could end up with electronic opioids, like William Shatner's "Tek" novels. People would literally spend all their time getting high by electronically stimulating their neurons, and they'd all become a bunch of addicts wasting away.

They say the younger generation these days are already developing ADHD because of all their interaction with portable electronic devices. Some people even have an aversion to face-to-face communication, preferring texting because they offer the insulation from emotional unpleasantries. Likewise, brain-to-brain communication might similarly create aversions to other more physical forms of communication, or other weird psychological eccentricities.

But anyway, brain-machine interface might allow a more seamless usage and operation of machinery that could function in hostile environments, whether in the vacuum of space, or on the surface of Moon/Mars/etc, or inside a radiation-filled nuclear reactor.

It might be very useful to effortlessly "slip on" a machine, like putting on a coat, to immediately begin operating and manipulating it. In an emergency situation, perhaps such time-saving could mean the difference between life and death.

However, the more closely we integrate technology to ourselves, the more it changes us.
"When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back."

Offline Star One

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #58 on: 04/23/2017 09:07 PM »
Who's to say that this type of interface might not get hacked? In the age of cyber-theft and industrial espionage, all kinds of things can be subverted that we never really gave consideration to, including even your cable TV set top box.

In the age of the Internet of Things, people are already worried that the devices they use are invisibly reporting back data on their usage back to others, in a way that we have no control over. Do you want a device that's able to monitor your thoughts, or the state of your brain, and sending it to who knows where?

What happens if there's an electronic glitch? You might be the recipient of some unpleasant feedback.

There are already concerns about the electric and magnetic fields of devices like cellphones and electric razors potentially being able to cause cancer. Who knows what the medical effects can be? When even VR displays have been known to cause nausea, etc, who knows what kind of unpleasant effects could be caused by a more intimate interface. Our brains did not evolve to be plugged in like this.

And then there's the idea that we'll all somehow wind up plugged into the Matrix - that this voluntary gadget eventually becomes an involuntary, imposed thing - a technology that could be misused and abused.

Still, telepresence could be essential to space operations, and making fuller use of robotics.

The business about them causing cancer has been unproved so far and in the case of phones it's something that's been studied multiple times.

Offline sanman

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Re: Elon Musk launches Neuralink
« Reply #59 on: 04/23/2017 09:51 PM »
Here's a critique from MIT Tech Review on why this won't be so easy to do on Musk's timeline:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604254/with-neuralink-elon-musk-promises-human-to-human-telepathy-dont-believe-it/

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