Elon Musk, Michio Kaku, Ray Kurzweil, And Stephen Hawking: Is The Future Exciting Or Terrifying? [Opinion]

Elon Musk, Michio Kaku, Ray Kurzweil, Stephen Hawking, and so many others are advising that rapid changes in technology will change the way people work, travel, reproduce, and think in the future. Is it all happening too fast? Even these bright minds, who are on the cutting edge of science, advise caution.

Elon Musk feels there are five categories of technology that will impact the future of mankind. The “last two,” Elon Musk says in his video below, have a “potential to be a double-edged sword.”

Elon Musk’s Top Five Categories For Future Technological Advancement

  • Making life multi-planetary
  • Achieving sustainable production and consumption of energy
  • Continued growth of the internet
  • Reprogramming human genetics
  • Artificial intelligence

Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, And Michio Kaku Are Apprehensive About AI

Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are both apprehensive about the creation of artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, As Michio Kaku points out in the video with Ray Kurzweil, new AI computers will be able to learn and to think for themselves. Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking say this could be dangerous. Michio Kaku feels it could eventually become dangerous as well.

Ray Kurzweil says technology is on the brink of reinventing humanity with mind-expanding nanobots. Michio Kaku interviews Ray Kurzweil on the singularity in the video below. The interview starts about halfway through the video for those who want to skip ahead.

Elon Musk And Ray Kurzweil Believe The Human Brain Will Interface With Computers

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and Neuralink, is in lockstep with Ray Kurzweil in believing that within the next three decades, the human brain will merge with a computer.

Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google and best-selling author of The Age of Spiritual Machines is quoted in the Irish Times as follows.

“In the 2030s we are going to send nanorobots into the brain that will provide full immersion virtual reality from within the nervous system and will connect our neocortex to the cloud. Just like how we can wirelessly expand the power of our smartphones 10,000-fold in the cloud today, we’ll be able to expand our neocortex.”

Soon, Elon Musk’s Neuralink company will be working toward developing neural implants that will allow humans to communicate very rapidly with both computers and other human beings, essentially being able to upload complex ideas rapidly, according to Mashable.

Not only will humanity become smarter in the future, according to Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil, but robots will become smarter. Elon Musk is not convinced artificial intelligence is a safe concept, yet both Kurzweil and Musk continue working toward this strange new future.

Robot Army could Artificial intelligence turn against mankind
Robot Army by Phonlamaiphoto Shutterstock

Ray Kurzweil Revealed A Concept Of Machines With Consciousness To Michio Kaku

Ray Kurzweil told Michio Kaku that in The Age of Spiritual Machines, he equates consciousness with spirituality. Ray Kurzweil feels that within 30 years, most people will consider these machines to be conscious.

“If we consider a being or an entity to be conscious then we consider it to have spiritual value.”

Elon Musk is working hard to bring all mankind into a sort of brave new world. From self-driving electric cars on underground freeways moving at 120 miles per hour to trips to Mars, Elon Musk is making it happen.

Likewise, Ray Kurzweil tells Michio Kaku something approaching singularity will occur in a few decades, not at the end of this century. Elon Musk agrees, and Musk and Stephen Hawking are concerned about a potential for disaster when it happens, according to the Independent.

Will Humans Still Be Humans By The Time Elon Musk Takes Them To Mars?

With Elon Musk’s flights to Mars on the horizon, British cosmologist and astrophysicist Martin Rees says the question is not whether mankind will colonize the solar system, but will humanity still be human when they arrive. Rees is quoted in The Scientific American as follows.

“I’d guess that by the next century, there will be groups of privately funded adventurers living on Mars and thereafter perhaps elsewhere in the solar system. We should surely wish these pioneer settlers good luck in using all the cyborg techniques and biotech to adapt to alien environments. Within a few centuries, they will have become a new species: the post-human era will have begun. Travel beyond the solar system is an enterprise for post-humans—organic or inorganic.”

Men like Elon Musk, Ray Kurzweil, and Michio Kaku have done a lot for mankind, but it is a little disconcerting to most people to think about humans not being purely human anymore. At what point does enhancement erase humanity? At what point do human being start to become something other than humans?

Elon Musk says in his video interview above that the most important goal is to perpetuate “conscious life” into the future.

“Make sure life continues into the future and particularly conscious life.”

Elon Musk is planning to colonize Mars and has made enormous strides in renewable energy. Ray Kurzweil is developing and maintaining the internet through Google. Ray Kurzweil is also working with pattern recognition as it relates to artificial intelligence, but what about human genetics?

Genetically Identical Women With bar codes
Genetically Identical Women With bar codes by andriano.cz Shutterstock

Editing The Human Genome?

Henry Greely, director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences, is quoted in Scientific American.

“In 20 to 40 years we’ll be able to derive eggs and sperm from stem cells, probably the parents’ skin cells. This will allow easy preimplantation genetic diagnosis on a large number of embryos—or easy genome modification for those who want edited embryos instead of just selected ones.”

Elon Musk has serious concerns about the future of artificial intelligence. Michio Kaku has said that long-term, he believes Elon Musk has a point. For more on Elon Musk’s concerns about artificial intelligence, see this article from the Inquisitr.

Stephen Hawking On The Real Risk Of AI

The genius of men like Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil are propelling mankind into a strange new future, but not everyone is on board with every aspect of the plan. Both Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have serious reservations about AI. Stephen Hawking is quoted in the Independent.

“The real risk with AI isn’t malice but competence. A super-intelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble.”

Michio Kaku’s video begins with Science fiction predictions, but did anyone really want the science fiction writers to get it right? For over a century, these sorts of ideas were the stuff of Science Fiction, and often, at least in fiction, these kinds of ideas did not end well.

Is this what Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku are worried about? Will artificial intelligence bring about a dystopian future, just like the science fiction films? What about making supposedly perfect little designer babies in the lab using skin cells? Science and technology are amazing, but is it also too much sometimes?

As Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, Ray Kurzweil, and Michio Kaku describe a possible future, is it exciting or terrifying?

[Featured Image by Evan Agostini and Matt Dunham/AP Images]