Elon Musk: Humans Need To Merge With Machines To Avoid Becoming Irrelevant

Does the idea of humanlike machines or machinelike humans freak you out? Maybe, but if we want to stay relevant in the face of the coming robot revolution, Elon Musk says we’ll have to become more cyborg-like.

Though he stopped short of warning humankind that “resistance is futile,” Musk mentioned that we will have to merge with machines somehow.

“Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence,” Musk told an audience at the World Government Summit in Dubai, where he was launching Tesla in the United Arab Emirates, CNBC reports (warning: link contains auto play video).

“It’s mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output,” he added, explaining that he means computers can communicate “a trillion bits per second,” while we lumps of meat can only go at about 10 bits per second by typing.

We don’t want to become useless when artificial intelligence is everywhere, Musk says, so there’s just one choice: Become the Borg.

“Some high bandwidth interface to the brain will be something that helps achieve a symbiosis between human and machine intelligence and maybe solves the control problem and the usefulness problem,” he said.

Nope. Doesn’t sound scary. Not at all. It’s not like Musk isn’t scared, either, at least of some kinds of AI: He also touched on his fear of “deep AI,” which he calls “artificial general intelligence” that is “smarter than the smartest human on earth.”

That kind of AI doesn’t exist yet, but when and if it does, it could be a “dangerous situation”, Musk said, echoing concerns he’s expressed in the past.