We’ve got to start taking human-computer integration more seriously
Elon Musk is calling for humans to become cyborgs or the Artificial Intelligences we create may just well end up being our masters.
In today’s podcast, we talk about Uncle Elon’s predictions, play and talk about some audio from Stephen Hawkins about AI, and discuss AI’s impending impact on what might well be America’s largest jobs sector.
Elon Musk thinks humans need to become cyborgs or risk irrelevance
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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 02/16/2017
Do We Need to Become Cyborgs to Compete – We Discuss Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking’s Theories
Craig Peterson: Welcome to today’s TechSanity check. Today we are going to talk about something Elon Musk just spoke about, about 2 days ago. This is really interesting and it’s very important for all of us to understand here. But Elon Musk is talking about humans becoming cyborgs. Now there are a number of people who say we frankly already are at least to a degree depends on what you define as cyborg. That’s what we’re going to talk about right now. Cyborgs, human intelligence that includes autonomous cars and Uncle Elon right here. Stick around. Here we go.
Alright. Well, as you know, if you’ve listened for a while, Tech Talk with Craig Peterson is actually my weekly radio show over on iHeartRadio Clear Channel radio. Yeah, terrestrial radio. And I’ve been doing that show now for a while, over 15 years and we’ve been podcasting for well over a decade. Although I took a couple of year hiatus and I lost a lot of listeners and for those that are back, I appreciate your being with me. But we are very religious about it now. We’re doing dailies in fact how’s that from going from the pot to the fire I guess is maybe the way to look at it. Anyhow, it’s an interesting time we live in. We’ve got major advances in computers. Major advances in technology. Of course, Elon Musk has been in our thoughts because he’s been talking a lot about this lately. But I want to play some audio here from an interview from another scientist and I think you’ll recognize his voice. In fact he got a new voice here very recently. Completely new voice. But he didn’t want the sound of that voice to change because Stephen Hawking said that his voice is his trademark. Isn’t that something for someone that can’t talk? Anyways Stephen Hawking had some great comments that fit right along these lines today.
(STEPHEN HAWKING AUDIO)
Stephen Hawking: The primitive forms of artificial intelligence we already have has proved very useful. But I think the development full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. Once develop artificial intelligence, it will take off on its own and redesign itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution couldn’t compete and would be superseded.
Craig: That’s from a BBC interview that was done with Dr. Stephen Hawking. Now it’s interesting to think about, right? We know computers are getting faster. We know we’ve got artificial intelligence. It’s just kind of stupid right now compared to where it will be in five or ten or more years. And as Stephen Hawking pointed out, and as I’ve said many times and believe me we’re not alone. The artificial intelligence, once it’s online, is going to improve itself. And I said we’re not the only ones because think of almost every sci-fi movie ever. So what does it mean for us here, bottom line? Well Elon Musk is saying, well maybe there is a way to counter this. Maybe there is a way to get around some of these problems with artificial intelligence and having it take over basically everything. Because you know it can think faster. It has more data. It can analyze things better because of that data. And if it has reasoning and logic it’s probably going to want to live. And that’s another theme that’s been going on forever in science-fiction. Think all the way back through R.U.R Rawlins universal robots. A very old Russian novel.
So there are a lot of things to consider. Maybe the answer is what Elon is saying. Maybe the answer is that humans need to become cyborgs. Or basically we’re going to be completely irrelevant. Now what is a cyborg? A cyborg… think of the board if you will over on Star Trek. These are humans, or at least their biological life-forms, that have been enhanced by mechanical computers, etcetera. You know, devices. So that sort of a thing is kind of where Elon’s going. No, not necessarily the exactly the same thing. We’ve got a new movie that’s coming out shortly, The Ghost in the Machine, with Scarlett Johansson. And this movie is kind of interesting. It’s kind of an anime thing. But its bottom line replacing the human brain with a computing system and artificial intelligence. That’s obviously the extreme. We’re already seeing people who have artificial legs. Our warriors who had a leg blown off, for instance, in defending the United States of America, and going where our president has commanded. So they’re over there, they get a leg blown off and they can come back and now we can 3D print legs. We’ve talked about it on the show before. There’s 3D printer companies that, when you buy the printer, will give you all of the designs, all of the instructions and contact for a kid who is in an underprivileged situation in a nation where maybe they lost a leg to a landmine. Or some other reason. So you can talk to that kid. You can find out who their superhero is and you can integrate that into the design and print a leg specifically for them based on their size. Based on the stump that’s left of their leg etcetera, etcetera. Is that is cyborg now because they do have an artificial leg? Only technically, yeah, it is.
The next step is having enhanced abilities. So think of Steve Austin, a man barely saying. The Six Million Dollar Man. Man barely alive. How about him?
(THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN AUDIO CLIP)
… We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man.
Craig: So who’s going to be the world’s first bionic man? Who’s going to be the world’s first complete cyborg? And at what point does it no longer the pharaoh’s ship, to use an ancient Greek way of explaining things. At what point is it no longer a man and it’s a machine? Well we are going to augment ourselves. We already are augmenting ourselves. Look at our smartphones. This is, I would call it a form of being a cyborg. We are tying our brains into amazing computing power. Amazing amounts of research, of innovation. We now have access to almost all of the information in the world. Right now. In our pockets. That’s an amazing thing. It’s absolutely astounding.
So if that’s the case today what’s the next step? Well, what we have to do is tie that indirectly to our brains. Our brains are really rather slow. Their biological process. They have electrical impulses. They have chemicals that are being exchanged in the brain. So how do we tie that in more directly with the computer? There’s people working on it today. It’s going to happen. And as we see the smarter cars, the autonomous cars start to take over driving, where are we going to end up at? I think this is going to hit us like a ton of bricks. We’re going to see autonomous cars. All of a sudden they’re going to appear. They are going to be everywhere before you know it. And I suspect that there are more jobs worldwide, even here in the United States. Particularly, maybe even in the developed world, certainly. There are more jobs related to driving than anything else. So we are going to have a huge hit upside the head when that happens. People are going to lose their jobs. People are going to have to find other work to do. In order to feel valuable we’re going to have people screaming for a universal basic income for everyone, right? All that’s going to happen.
But that’s just going to be the start. And I think, again here, Elon Musk is right. I think we have to integrate with this automation in order to be able to control it and not have it control us. There’s something. Boy we’ve had science fiction written about for decades here. For well over a hundred years.
I hope you have a great day. We have a lot more to talk about. We got some really cool stuff we’re going to be announcing soon. We have a little daily, also little tips we’re going to be sending out. So we’ll make that available as well. We’ll let you know when that’s coming out. Hopefully that’ll be available next week. And it will be a little security tip. It’ll probably be a link to my daily podcast as well in case you missed it. But you’ll be able to sign up and get that in your email just on a daily basis. Anyways, have a great day. We’ll be back tomorrow with another TechSanity Check. And make sure you listen to my As Heard this morning. I was on radio stations across the state of Maine and we talked about a couple of things that I think you might find interesting including Google’s new AI unscrambling faces. Now again, s ort of a little bit of creepy scary, but anyways. You’ll find that on my podcast feed http://CraigPeterson.com/iTunes. Or just go to TuneIn, that app, that site and search for Craig Peterson. Have a great day. Talk to you tomorrow.
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