If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Elon Musk, the reliably quotable Tesla CEO, gave the media something relatively new to chew on at a World Government Summit in Dubai where he arrived to announce the launch of his electric car company in the United Arab Emirates. Veering slightly off topic by pivoting from autonomous vehicles to autonomy generally, Musk took the occasion to speculate that to compete in the age of artificially intelligent computers, humans and machines will need to put their heads together... so to speak.
"Some high-bandwidth interface to the brain will be something that helps achieve a symbiosis between human and machine intelligence and maybe solves the control problem and the usefulness problem," Musk explained according to CNBC.
Such theories are often referred to by dorks as transhumanism or the singularity, a moment when computers and people will merge to bypass evolution and sidestep death. To achieve these age-old fantasies of immortality, espoused by the super rich and super smart from the pharaohs to philosophers, Musk has called for human-AI interface he refers to as a neural lace. That technology was theorized and named in the sci-fi Culture novels by Iain M. Banks, as Gizmodo explains.
Musk first trotted out his take on this cyborg imperative last summer at a Recode conference. Here's Musk discussing the idea further with his fellow AI apocalypse prepper, Y Combinator president Sam Altman. In a world with AI, Musk hypothesizes, the best we can hope for is a "collective lifestyle where 'we are the AI.'" Better get to Mars quick, then.