The Future of Neuralink | The Artificial Intelligence Podcast with Lex Fridman

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Key Takeaways

  •  “Neuralink might help alleviate human suffering” Lex Fridman
    • “The hope is that at the individual level you’ll be able to aid in the alleviation, in some degree, of all the sources of neurological suffering” 
  • Neuralink will help people regain the ability to move parts of their body 
    • It can also help people regain the ability to see by stimulating the visual cortex or even lead to superhuman level vision (ex: ability to see infrared light)
  • There’s also the possibility of saving mental states, which would be a form of digital immortality
    • “You can think of being able to save the contents or the critical contents of your mind into digital form and then being able to transfer it to other systems” – Lex Fridman
  • Neuralink could possibly allow people to save and replay memories. You would have the ability to modify, alter, or delete memories.
    • “It’s basically converting our prior experiences into data and once it’s converted into data, that could be used for all kinds of applications”Lex Fridman 
  • One path humans to make sure the human race endures is to merge with AI:
    • “One way to ensure our survival is to expand the capacity of the human mind, to communicate with AI, and with the AI to communicate with the human mind” – Lex Fridman

Intro   

Alleviating Human Suffering 

  • “Neuralink might help alleviate human suffering” Lex Fridman
    • The brain is the source of both physical and psychological pain
      • Neuralink could possibly identify the signal going to the brain and interact with them
        • “We might be able to accelerate our understanding and treatment and control of the internal environment of the mind” 
  • “The hope is that at the individual level you’ll be able to aid in the alleviation, in some degree, of all the sources of neurological suffering” Lex Fridman

Consciousness & Intelligence 

  • Neuralink will help scientists understand how the brain works at a functional level (memory, perception, cognition, etc.)
    • That information may help humans build better AI
      • “It’s possible that it will inspire or instruct us on the engineering side of how to build smarter and smarter artificial intelligence systems” – Lex Fridman
  • Neuralink could also help us understand what is consciousness and where intelligence emerges

Augmented Body, Mind, & Reality

  • Neuralink will help people regain the ability to move parts of their body 
    • It can also help people regain the ability to see by stimulating the visual cortex or even lead to superhuman level vision (ex: ability to see infrared light)
  • Neuralink could also augment reality and replace the need for smart glasses 

Gaming & Virtual Reality

  • “With a brain-computer interface, beyond just gaming, you can start to think about creating virtual worlds, virtual realities” Lex Fridman
    • We may use virtual reality headsets for now, but as technology improves, Neuralink could replace the need for such headsets
  • There’s also the possibility of creating virtual experiences that mimic the same experience people get some psychedelics 

Merging Tech & Biology

  • There is a lot of innovation happening in robotic neurosurgery and robotic surgery in general
  • Neuralink currently connects with 1,024 channels in the brain, but in the future, that number could be in the millions or maybe even billions
    • “There’s so much possibility of engineering breakthroughs about the number of channels that are possible that you can’t yet imagine” – Lex Fridman

Telepathy

  • Neuralink has the possibility of enriching the communication bandwidth, by both quality and quantity, between two consenting human beings
    • Imagine communicating multi-dimensional mind maps when you’re trying to reason through a problem
    • You could also communicate creative ideas like art

Memories & Immortality

  • Neuralink could possibly allow people to save and replay memories. You would have the ability to modify, alter, or delete memories.
    • “It’s basically converting our prior experiences into data and once it’s converted into data, that could be used for all kinds of applications”Lex Fridman
  • There’s also the possibility of saving mental states, which would be a form of digital immortality
    • “You can think of being able to save the contents or the critical contents of your mind into digital form and then being able to transfer it to other systems” – Lex Fridman
      • You could then reload your content into a robotic or biological system

Merging With AI

  • Sooner or later, humans will engineer systems that are far smarter than ourselves. Although this sounds great, it could backfire:
    • “There might be a set of dimensions where an intelligent system is able to generalize better than humans in a set of tasks that can lead to existential risks to human beings” – Lex Fridman
      • The AI could see humans as a threat or competitor, whether directly or indirectly, and may try to destroy humans 
  • One path humans to make sure the human race endures is to merge with AI:
    • “One way to ensure our survival is to expand the capacity of the human mind, to communicate with AI, and with the AI to communicate with the human mind” – Lex Fridman
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Notes By Alex Wiec

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