Humans and machines have been merging for thousands of years, right now im wearing shoes and have glasses. We all use phones. We communicate with the augmentation of all sorts of amplification and translation technologies. You can now speak into a machine and it will translate the words you’re saying in real time. So what might be different inm the years to come is a matter of degree not a matter of kind. One concept emerging is what I like to call “the braain coprocessor”, a device that intimately interacts with the brain. It can upload information TO the brain and can download information from it. Imagine a world where you could have a technology that could replace lost memories, or augment decision making, or boost attention or cognition. But to do that we have to understand how the brain works at a deep level. Although over a third of a million patients have had brain implants, or neural implants that stimulate the nervous system, so far they’ve operated in an open loop fashion, meaning they drive activity in the brain, but not in a fully responsive fashion. What we want to do is have bidirectional communication to the brain, can you read and wriite information continuously and supply, maybe through coupling these interfaces to silicon comoputers, exaclty the information te brain needs. The hope is that in the next decade we get deep insigts into ow brain circuits compute and tat will drive te design of tese interfaces so tat we can deliver information to te brain and record information from te brain using te natural language of the brain. Reading and writing infiormation in a way tat augments te number of things you can old in our mind at once, or the ability to recall things nearly perfectly, which is not an ability so different from looking something up on a search engine on our phone. So i think what will happen is a continuiation of this trend. And a lot of people like to talk about AI, as it stands, its based on a lot of concepts that go back man decades, building from man simple observations about the brain. But what might it do once we ave deep insigts into te nature of creativity and ethics, and other things the human brain seems uniquelly equipt for. I think once we start to couple AI to the brain, that can really augnment these human capabilities, it leads to a new era of what you might call “Hybrid intelligence”, so it wont just be AI running awa in some poisitive feedback loop, iot wont be umans upgrading temselvesm but it will yield a new kind of smbiosis, which i think is the best possible path. If you look at how people operate in the world, hybrid intelligence seems to be one of the most prevelant models. get ready for hybrid thinking. Today you have a co puter in your phone, but if you need 10,000 computers for a few seconds to do a complex search, you can access that for a second or two in the cloud. If in the 2030s you need some extra neocortex you’ll be able to connect to that directly in your brain. The 3 million modules in your neocortex isn’t going to cut it, you’ll need a billion more, i’ll be able to access that in the cloud. And our thinking ten will be a hybrid of biological and non-biological thinking. But the non-biological portion is subject to the law of accelerating returns. It will grow exponentially. Rememebr the last time we expanded our neocortex? That was 2 million years ago when we became humanoids and developed large forheads. Other primates have a slanted brow and don’t have the frontal cortrx. Although the frontal cortex is not really qualititatively different, it’s a quantitative expansion of neocortex, but that additional quantity of thinking was an enabling factor for us to take qualitative leap and invent language art, science, and technology. No other species has done that. So in the next few decades we’re gonna do it again, we’re gonna expand our neocortex but tis time we won’t be limited by a fixed architecture of enclosure, it’ll be expanded without limit. That additional quantity will again be the enabling factor for another qulitative leap in culture and technology. Your brain in the cloud. Some people often think art, creativity, and sideshows to human intelligence, but the real essenc eof intelligence is thinking logically. If that was true computers are already smarter than we are because they’re much better at logical thinking than we are. It’s things like being funny, being loving, or musical, that’ the cutting edge of human intelligence, it has to dowith the hierarchy of the neocortex and at those levels things may seem cold and mechanical, because our neocortex can recognize very simple objects and make very simple decisions. At a higher level it’s dealing with concepts like the beauty of emily dickinson, or the ability to create a poem like that. We come back to creativity, it’s an exercise in mtaphoors and the neocortex is a metaphor machine, it’s what its good at, it’s why humans are creative. But we have this very large hierachry where we have more and more abstract compelx patterns built on patterns below it, and the difference between humans and other primates is that we have more of the neocortex. We have this big forhead we can fit in the frontal cortex and thus have a higher number of hierachies or levels of hierarchies and enable the evolution of language, technology, art, and science. We are going to create synthetic neocortexes based on the same principles. We will create artitifical neocortexes that have a couple number or greater number and the principle application will be to extend our own neocortex, we have 300 million pattern recognizers in the neocortex, that hierarchy w build ourselves, each capable of connecting itself to other neocortexes to build this hierarchy. we build the hierarchy from the moment we’re born, we’re constantly building it. But we run up against this limitation of 300 million, we’ll be able to extend that and think in the cloud. If you do a search or translation with your iphone, it doesnt take place in the box, it goes out to the cloiud. We’re gonna put these gateways to the cloud in our brains, and have more than 300 million, just like the clud can give you a thousand or a million computers for 10th of a second, if you need another billion pattern recognizers, you’ll be able to access that in the cloud. It’ll be more intelligent and able to think in a greater number of hierarchies. Realize that the quantitative improvement from primates to humans, to allow a larger neocortex was enabling factor for language, art, music and science. What kind of qualitative leap can we make with another quantitative decrease? That’s where we’re headed.
Also Ray Kurzweil, an inventor and futurist who has many numerous awards of the highest caliber (developed a lot of software, musical instruments, and artificial intelligence, and technologies that have aided the disabled in living fuller lives), he predicts a general merger between human intelligence and artificial intelligence, and a combination of the relative strengths of the 2. So certain aspects of computers would be incorporated into human minds and human bodies. For instance, the ability to crunch a lot of routine calculations very quickly, computers can do that, we can’t. However, we can do a lot of qualitative processing of ideas that copmputers can’t, at least for computers in our modern stage, where they aren’t much inclined towards intelligent or creative argumentation even though some of them are getting there. An integration of human capacities would lead to much more intelligent beings, this would still be us with our conscoiousness, wewould just be enhabced in our abilitiesa. Through this, we would be enhabnced in our abilitiues, these beings, us, would be able to invent new technoloigies at a much faster rate than modern humans. As a result, we can expect an acceleration of the rate of progress in accelerating human lifespans. This is a very hopeful pathway in which indefinite lifespan can occur. I wish all these innovattors scientists, and entrepreneurs all the best in defeating this greatest foe of humanity.