Human beings will become indistinguishable from robots if they allow microchips to be implanted into their brains. That’s according to a claim by Dr. Mikhail Lebedev, a senior neuroscientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Lebedev told CNET that improvements in brain implant technology could go awry if human beings start acting like machines.
“It is even possible that “humanity” will evolve into a community of zombies,” he said. “Luckily this is not a problem as of yet.”
Brain implants may sound like something straight out of a science fiction movie but it isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. There are companies working on developing a human brain and computer interface that can make it easier for humans to communicate with computers. One of these companies is backed by none other than Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
As the Verge reports, Elon Musk launched a company called Neuralink in March of this year. The firm is focused on creating technology that will enable human brains to mesh with computer software. The end goal, according to the Verge, is to help humans keep up with developments in artificial intelligence. These brain implants, which are commonly called Neural Lace, could also improve memory.
— World Economic Forum (@wef) December 14, 2017
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Elon Musk has warned against the proliferation of unregulated artificial intelligence. At an event a couple of months ago, Musk said that humans only had a 5 to 10 percent chance of preventing AIs from taking over human civilizations. Human life is threatened when computers become smarter than us, Musk warned. Artificial intelligence could start wars by manipulating the information sourced by governments, for example. Therefore, governments need to have a deeper understanding of the technology, he added.
“Once there is awareness, people will be extremely afraid, as they should be…By the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’ll be too late,” Musk said at the summer conference of the National Governors Association in Rhode Island.
Neural Lace isn’t ready to be implanted in anyone’s brain just yet. Right now, brain implants are mainly used in the medical field. As the Verge notes, electrode arrays and other types of implants have been utilized to help ease the effects of Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and other neurological conditions.
But the type of implant that Neuralink is developing is complex and could be dangerous to implant into the human brain. It’s still unclear as to when it will be available to the public.