The Singularity is Closer Than We Think: How AI and Brain-Computer Interfaces Could Radically Change Our Lives
As technology continues to advance at an ever-increasing pace, there is a growing concern among experts that artificial intelligence (AI) is about to irreversibly change our lives. Neuroscientist Giulio Tononi has developed Integrated Information Theory (IIT) which suggests that the growth of internet-based connectivity could eventually result in the amount of integrated information in society surpassing that of a human brain, leading to the emergence of a higher form of consciousness that would absorb individual brains into its entity. Writing for The Conversation, University of New England philosophers Sandy Boucher and John Kendall Hawkins have suggested that this phenomenon, known as the “singularity,” could be closer than we think, and that brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are the first step on that path.
Elon Musk’s company Neuralink is working towards developing a BCI technology that would allow people to communicate instructions by thinking them and is currently seeking permission from the US Food and Drug Administration to begin human trials. If successful, this would mark the dawn of a new era of human-machine integration, in which we would become inseparable from machines. This could lead to a dramatic shift in how we live, work, and interact in our day-to-day lives, and it could be just months away.
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1. “Futurists predict a point where humans and machines become one. But will we see it coming?” The Conversation, 13 Mar. 2023, https://theconversation.com/futurists-predict-a-point-where-humans-and-machines-become-one-but-will-we-see-it-coming-196293
2. “Experts Warn: Brain-Computer Interfaces Will Usher In the Singularity” Futurism, 17 Mar. 2023, https://futurism.com/the-byte/bci-singularity-philosophers
3. “AI could forever change our lives, tech experts warn. And it could happen in months” The Arizona Republic, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/philboas/2023/03/13/ai-artificial-intelligence-could-change-lives-within-months-experts-warn/70003280007/