Currently watching the Neuralink launch video, and wanted to share some of my personal thoughts:
1. The soul includes BOTH your brain AND your body
The notion of a ‘brain in a jar’ isn’t a good one. I believe the body and the mind both constitute our soul (our personality, and who we are).
For example, to simply clone someone’s brain isn’t enough. You would also need to clone their body. This is similar to Keanu Reeves’ “Replicas” film notion (not a good film, but some ideas are good in it).
2. What do we want to improve?
This is the tricky thing:
The basis of neuralink is to one day merge us with AI. But what exactly do we want to “improve” or “optimize”?
I think the idea is we want to become ‘smarter’, more ‘intelligent’, and perhaps become more ‘productive’.
But towards what end? Why become smarter? Why become more intelligent? Why become more productive?
3. My fears
One day we will use Neuralink-like devices to treat “depression” and “OCD”.
The reason why this is scary to me:
It is almost like today, when we put children on Ritalin to help them “focus” in school. But the problem is the schools, not the children. I believe medicating our children is perhaps the WORST thing that is happening to the future youth in today’s modern world.
Also what if having some depression and “OCD” was beneficial to us? What if one day all feelings of depression were totally eradicated? I am certain that much of human creativity and expression (and perhaps something integral to our soul) will be eliminated. To me, this is my doomsday.
4. Aren’t we already cyborgs?
In some regards we are like godlike cyborgs (our access to smartphones and the internet, computers, etc).
My personal thought is this:
Leverage the MINIMUM amount of technology in your life to maximize your creative output.
For example, having a laptop will certainly help you be more creatively productive. But having a laptop, an iPad, an iPhone, EarPods, a Tesla, Bose noise-canceling headphones, might actually be WORSE for you. Why? Too many choices COMPLICATE our life, and having TOO MUCH technology to us might actually WORSEN our lives!
5. Technology to remove distractions from our life.
For example, let us assume you have all your email, text, and phone notifications enabled. How can you focus and do anything? You can’t! My thought is that the best technology is the technology which REMOVES distractions (Freedom App which blocks your wifi, Ad Blockers, Noise cancelling headphones).
What if one day we get a Neuralink implant, and we can “photoshop” out visual ugliness from the real world? Imagine an ad-blocker, but for your brain. Lots of opportunity for abuse here (think about any Netflix Black Mirror episode, especially the ‘Arkangel‘ episode).
6. Would I do it?
The idea which is kind of cool to me:
What if one day I could type words onto my computer by using my mind?
The thought is cool, but I would never do anything like Neuralink. Why? Even remember Lasik in the early days? Flaring issues at night (even today).
Also, I like my “flawed” human biological body. I think there is still SO MUCH untapped intelligence I have yet to obtain, and I think having some device like Neuralink in my brain would actually hold back my potential.
I think I just prefer typing on my laptop.
I think talking ethics is a bit vain. I think that Neuralink is a ‘net positive’ to society. It can certainly help people who are paralyzed, or perhaps it could help people gain vision or sound. Or maybe help people with Alzheimers, etc.
Long story short:
The future is very bright!