JOE ALLEN: Neuralink is Elon Musk's first step towards the creation of a superhuman mind

Elon Musk visited Eagle Pass, Texas to see the migrant invasion for himself. The proud owner of X, Neuralink, and the newly launched xAI has been increasingly vocal about US border security. For instance, on September 20 he sent out a tweet (or eXcrete, or whatever it's called now) to highlight a reasonable concern:

"Strange that there is almost no legacy media coverage of this. About 2 million people – from every country on Earth – are entering through the US southern border every year. The number is rising rapidly, yet no preventative action is taken by the current administration."

Indeed, our situation is grim. Day after day, we see troops of fighting-age men swarm into the country by the tens of thousands. Children are trafficked north for horrific purposes. While decent American jobs evaporate via outsourcing and automation, millions of immigrants take the remaining jobs, drive wages to a bare minimum, and siphon off taxpayer funds. Many wind up registering to vote for more of the same. Entire states have been balkanized by this process.

Some worry the US population will be replaced by this massive influx of illegal immigrants, but there is what I call a Greater Replacement. That is the encroaching vision of civilization that would see legacy human beings being overtaken by cyborgs and machines.

Last summer, Musk described this synthetic invasion to the World AI Conference in Shanghai, China. "The ratio of machine versus biological intelligence keeps increasing," he said. "That means, over time, human intelligence will represent a smaller and smaller percentage of total thinking capacity on earth relative to machines." 

Our meat brains will soon be overwhelmed by digital minds. And as robotics improve, our laboring hands are to be replaced by mechanical bodies. "This is really a profound change," Musk continued. "But the trends are, over time, that we're headed to a world where there are more robots than humans."

Speaking at the same Shanghai conference, the pioneering AI scientist Richard Sutton argued that "technologically enhanced humans, and then AIs, will be our successors." Along with many in Silicon Valley and communist China, Sutton anticipates the rise of artificial general intelligence (AGI)—a digital mind that first equals and then rapidly exceeds our bumbling human brains. This is the ultimate goal for Sutton's former employer, Google's DeepMind, as well as for Microsoft's partner OpenAI, and Amazon's new partner Anthropic. AGI is also the aim of Sutton's new employer, Keen Technologies. Naturally, the Chinese tech companies Baidu and Tencent are scrambling to catch up in the AGI race, lest Westerners create an artificial godlike intelligence first.

In time, Sutton believes it's "inevitable" that cyborgs and AGI "will become more important... in almost all ways than ordinary humans." The "noble" approach is to "bow out when we can no longer contribute." Sutton condemns any resistance to this Greater Replacement as the height of human prejudice. "I think the reasons to fear AI are less noble," he told his Chinese audience, going on to describe humanism as "akin to racism." It's a "systematic bias against AIs—denial of their moral worth and their first-class personhood." This bias is driven by "conservatism": the "fear of change, timidness, [and] fear of the other tribe—where the AIs are the other tribe."

Therefore, to realize our transhuman potential, we must maximize diversity and inclusion to stave off the ultimate race war between legacy humans and the AGI borg. A deplorable "speciesist" is on the wrong side of history.

This is a jarring vision of human evolution in a god-eat-god world. For now, Musk argues in favor of speciesism, whereas Sutton looks forward to a posthuman succession. Sane people say it all sounds crazy. The debate is quite familiar to transhumanists, though, who plan to merge their brains and bodies with machines one way or another. Yet this largely goes unmentioned by Musk fanboys and detractors alike. Why fret over the fate of our species when you can barely afford rent? Just smash "like," scroll on, and let the algorithm flow through you.

The Machine Question is all about competition. Today, human immigrants are economic competitors to a nation's citizens. On a longer timeline, digital minds and mechanical bodies are evolutionary competitors to humankind. Either we uproot these silicon sprouts now, before they grow, or our descendants may become organic weeds in their synthetic garden. 

Or, as Musk suggests, perhaps the answer is to adapt by cultivating benevolent machines, and then co-evolve by grafting ourselves to them. Think of it as cross-species intermarriage in an age of iron and clay.

Also on September 20, just twenty minutes before he sounded the alarm on mass immigration, Musk eXcreted some big news about a more personal border to be breached—the flesh-and-bone barrier between the human brain and artificial intelligence. The transhumanist tycoon announced that Neuralink will implant their first subject for brain-computer interface experiments. 

"This ultimately has the potential to restore full body movement," Musk promised. It all sounds so biblical. The lame shall walk and the blind shall see. But the truly miraculous goal is to move from healing to enhancement. 

"In the long term," Musk wrote, "Neuralink hopes to play a role in AI civilizational risk reduction by improving human to AI (and human to human) bandwidth by several orders of magnitude." That means linking a healthy brain to artificial intelligence for cognitive enhancement. It also means linking many healthy brains to each other to create a buzzing, superhuman hive mind.

How many borg-brains does it take to screw an AGI? Musk estimates "hundreds of millions or billions." On September 18, two days before his Neuralink announcement, Musk met with Israeli prime minister Bibi Netanyahu to discuss AI regulation. "It's not clear to me that the Neuralink will be ready before AGI," Musk admitted. Nevertheless, he'll give it a go. 

"The reason for Neuralink, although initially it will be very helpful to people who have brain or spine injuries [is] ultimately to improve the bandwidth between the [brain's] cortex and the AI version of yourself." This super-powered digital twin—a "tertiary brain" trained on your mind, body, and soul—would serve as an AI guardian angel between your meat brain and an otherwise ineffable Computer God. The implant would populate your head with memes like aliens in an urban ghetto.

"If ultimately hundreds of millions or billions of people get a high-bandwidth interface to their digital tertiary self—their AI self, effectively," Musk explained, "then that probably leads to a better future for humanity." Make sure those iTrodes come with a warranty in case one explodes.

Perhaps you take "Elon" seriously when he calls himself a "free speech absolutist." Maybe you trust that he bought X to defend your defiant voice—while scraping your eXcrement to train his digital mind at xAI—all in order to save Western civilization. 

If so, you should take him seriously when he talks about flooding the workforce with Optimus humanoid robots and linking a billion brains to an artificial godlike intelligence. In this mad era of blurred lines and mass invasions, you could easily find yourself colonized before you even know the borders have crumbled.

Joe Allen is the author of DARK ÆON: Transhumanism and the War Against Humanity


Image: Title: Musk neuralink
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