Stay on target Robot Dog Astro Can Sit, Lie Down, and Save LivesMIT’s AI Knitting System Designs, Creates Woven Garments This week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Elon Musk has thrown his weight behind Neuralink. If you’ve never heard of the company, don’t be surprised. It’s a start-up with almost no presence anywhere, but it’s already made some powerful allies.Ostensibly, Neuralink is researching how we can more closely tie human consciousness to computing. The ultimate goal is to develop an array of implants that could allow you to download software for your brain or directly control objects with your mind.Musk has repeatedly said that artificial intelligence is one of the biggest threats facing the future of humanity. And it seems that the backing for Neuralink is at least partially inspired by that fear, saying that we need to merge with machines or “become irrelevant.” And there’s some good evidence to back that up.I certainly haven’t been quiet about the state of AI and the impending doom of the human race here at Geek. Cars are better without us, AI can beat us at almost every game, and that list grows every day, plus we actually make pretty shit doctors. We cannot, for example, immediately know every piece of human anatomy, much less understand all the chemical reactions taking place, and how those are affected by medications. To be fair, computers can’t do that yet either, but they’re a helluva lot closer than we are, plus, unless we do some serious science, we can’t upgrade humans. This is, for the most part, as good as we’ll ever be at most things. Computers on the other hand? They grow more advanced every month, and when combined with neural nets, have a profound capacity for learning — far outstripping their creators.Musk’s fear of AI is so great that he, in part, sees the mission of SpaceX as, at least in part, to protect humanity from AI. “With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. You know all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, and he’s like, yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out.” Musk told Vanity Fair.With Neuralink, Musk may finally be putting his cash and influence down on a solution — the neural lace. This is an idea Musk has been discussing for some time, but, essentially it ties together some of brains basic functions so that you can communicate directly with a computer.“Your phone and your computer are extensions of you, but the interface is through finger movements or speech, which are very slow,” Musk said. “For a meaningful partial-brain interface, I think we’re roughly four or five years away.”Given that a lot of Musk’s projects, while successful, tend to take a bit longer than advertised, an eight-to-ten-year window seems a bit more realistic. Even so, the implications of this, as you might suspect are huge. For now, though, we’ll have to sit and wait for the future. And hope that we can, one day, keep pace with the machines… possibly with the help of machines.