Elon Musk is trying to raise $100 million to launch a manufacturer of nice cyborgs that do not become Terminators.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday — the same day as the theater opening of Terminator 2: Judgment Day 3D — that Musk is sponsoring a new start-up named Neuralink Corporation, which has already raised the first $27 million of its $100 million goal to create a system that will implant electrodes in human brains to upload and download thoughts and information to computers.
Musk, as CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has been a critic of artificial intelligence (AI). But he also is a top participant in the OpenAI research non-profit, which aims to promote friendly AI developments.
Musk was a signatory, along with 116 founders of robotics and artificial intelligence companies that petitioned the United Nations to ban robots and other autonomous weapons. According to Musk: “Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend.”
The Neuralink.com website states that the San Francisco-based company is “developing ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers,” and is “looking for exceptional engineers and scientists” with talent and drive that will mostly come from outside of the neurosciences.
Positions advertised include a microfabrication engineer to “lead the development and fabrication of a new class of biological probes”; a polymer scientist to study the best materials for use in an implantable neural lace devices; a medical device engineer with experience in implanted probes; and a mechatronics engineer to design “next generation medical robotics.”
Musk told the Teslarati bog in March that Neuralink is an effort to make the human mind sharper and quicker, while gearing up to attempt combating serious neural afflictions. Musk stated: “We are aiming to bring something to market that helps with certain severe brain injuries (stroke, cancer lesion, congenital) in about four years.”
Nuralink Corporation claims its goal is to enhance human lives, but that was also the stated goal of the fictional Skynet Corporation’s cyborg engineers when they designed the prototype T-1000 liquid mimetic poly-alloy metal android in the Terminator series. When threatened by humans, T-1000 took control.
The 1991 fantasy T-1000 supposedly mimicked how the human brain works through the use of artificial neural networks, using “deep learning” that allowed the machine to generate its own strategies and actions without changing the underlying coding.
There are already numerous crash programs around the world that are trying to create similar capabilities by building artificial neurons that can provide electrically charged binary yes/no responses to basic questions about a piece of data. Eventually, the artificial neurons will then be layered by the millions, with the goal of creating T-1000s — hopefully, nice ones.