For quite a long time, pop-culture and science-fiction references almost had us convinced that the uprising of AI will be the doom of humanity, and we’re soon to be slaves of AI overlords. However, science fiction is fiction, after all. It just might not be the case. Rather, humanity is most possibly moving towards a rather comfortable and mutually beneficial coexistence with Artificial Intelligence. In this article, we’ll talk about the phenomenons and scopes of Human-AI symbiosis.
Up until the last decade, in the early 2010s’, Artificial Intelligence was fantasized in the common folks’ minds in a rather funny way. Some thought AI means only highly intelligent humanoid robots, some thought it means figures like hiveminds, or brain-in-a-techy-jar type things. To be honest, even experts were skeptical about which direction it is moving towards. Towards the late 2010s’, the picture of the applications of AI started becoming a lot clearer. Now it is almost an established truth that AI is not a competition against the human race, rather it is an extension. An extension, not necessarily free from anomalies, but could possibly be just the jump-start we need to advance as a civilization.
The picture we can see above is an illustration of Neuralink, one of the many major projects of tech tycoon Elon Musk. Being one of the very first brain interfacing devices, it’s an early example of how the present or soon-to-be-future human-AI symbiosis may look like. Right now this particular tech is focused on medical applications, like providing a means of controlling devices with the mind for people with severe spinal injury, but the possibilities are said to be truly overwhelming in this case. In theory, this piece of tech will be able to cure vision loss, severe cognitive disability, etc. Apart from the medical benefits, the Neuralink supposedly can connect to thousands of neurons, and in the future will be able to formulate thoughts from someone’s mind into formattable imagery within moments. That may revolutionize communication between two brains ( humans), or one’s ability to learn, teach or perceive information.
These are all nice things to hear and all, but here comes the tricky part. The roads may look like they’re paved with gold and all easy-breezy up there, but in reality, we’re talking about incredibly complex situations with the potential of so many things going south. The future applications mentioned above are still pretty much within the boundaries of science fiction and we may not see a lot of them coming to fruition eventually. Now let’s talk about the challenges that come with it.
- The Concern for data security will be a massive one. Right now the devices that we use, like mobile phones or laptops, are just tools. They are not a technological extension to our body. In addition, a lot of potential damages of devastating scale will be imminent when simply the internet speed goes way up. Attackers will be just limited by the bandwidth. Imagine a world where most people have a chip in their brains, and internet bandwidth has reached terabytes or petabytes per second. There, any breach of security may lead to damage of catastrophic proportions. Attackers may be able to damage brains or memories, steal their identity irrecoverably, or steal tremendous amounts of data. So, preventing that would be one of the biggest challenges.
- A lot of morales and thought-processes of the common people will radically change with 24/7 AI backseat drivers in their head.
- The entire concept of intellectual property may have to be re-evaluated and institutionalized if people can communicate and formatize ideas by using their thoughts.
All of these are major concerns and may halt progress, may dehumanize people, ideas, and morals. It may completely alter what it is to be a human.
So yeah, the future is a great window to look out of and see how things unfold!