You know Elon Musk, the guy who created electric-car behemoth Tesla. He’s also the guy who runs SpaceX, the private company that’s going to space and landing ships vertically on platforms that float on the ocean. He’s also the guy who is working on neural lace technology that will enable humans to communicate with computers and artificial intelligence via thoughts. No big deal.
That’s because he wants to “achieve a symbiosis between human and machine intelligence, and maybe [solve] the control problem and the usefulness problem,” as he explained to an audience at the World Government Summit in Dubai this week, where Tesla recently launched sales operations.
You’re probably asking, “What are the control and usefulness problems that a neural lace interface would solve?”
Think of it this way: There’s only so much you can tell a computer to do via keyboard, mouse and now touch and voice. You have to think about what you want a computer to do, translate it into information the computer will understand (a phrase, a swipe, a few typed words), the computer then needs to parse what you meant and then finally go and do what you wanted.
Musk is foreseeing a future in which we’ll be able to just think what we want and lean into the fact that computers are able to search for and sort information much faster than humans can. In fact, computers have an almost trillion-fold speed edge when it comes to communicating with other machines.
If you’re worried what this could do for humanity, Musk sees it as an advantage and a job-maker, as computers and robots take over tasks like driving and manufacturing. By allowing humans to get cozy with computers, Musk sees a future in which the brain-computer interface would actually create more jobs than it would lose.