Sunday, May 14, 2017

Why Elon Musk's new project terrifies me


He wants to link people's minds together in a system he has branded Neuralink. Technology develops in iterations. First there was the wax cylinder. Then came the vinyl record, the cassette tape, CDs, and MP3 players. Iteration is important because corporations are greedy and risk adverse. An existing product allows for the development of a better competing product to come into replace it. The developers know there is already a market and that they have a competitive advantage: less risk and more reward with less investment in promotion.

Let us say Neuralink works. Then corporations will compete to produce better and better technology that can transmit your thoughts. The process of technological market iteration sould eventually lead to the storage of memories. And that should lead to immortality. And immortality should lead to a vast word overpopulation problem. And that is what terrifies the shit out of me. Also, what about memory hacking? Mind control? Borg collectives? What happens to democracy when the thoughts of voters can be influenced or controlled? When is you past not your past because you memories have been edited? What if the government can install a new personality in your brain? What if the can make you want to turn yourself in to the police? What if they can force you to walk, against your will, to the police station? What if you are a ghost in a shell? What if overpopulation forces us all to live in a matrix? What political effects will the next information revolution have on society?

This could go really bad.


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