Why are we on the verge of creating a technology that will combine the computer with the human nervous system into a single complex? How will a person change after connecting to an electronic machine? Can a computer system handle the flow of data from billions of living neurons? I will try to answer these questions in this article.
In the previous article “Individual artificial intelligence: New technology that will change our world“We talked about the fact that a new type of artificial intelligence will become a bioelectronic hybrid in which a living human brain and a computer will work together. This will give birth to a new type of AI – individual artificial intelligence.
By combining fundamentally different components (living human brain and electronic system), we will see how the effect of appearance works (the birth of new properties that are not inherent in the combining elements separately).
Individual artificial intelligence as a bioelectronic hybrid will have fundamental advantages over both the biological brain and any computer system. We also talked about some technical features of a new type of brain-computer interface.
The previous article raised several ethical issues and even concerns about our future. I will try to answer some of them.
What will happen to all of us? Who will we become in the end?
I will say what I think: we ourselves will change a lot. I don’t want to be a moralist and try to please everyone. As a doctor and scientist, I know that the development of science and the birth of new technologies cannot be stopped or postponed for moral or spiritual-philosophical reasons. A person with individual artificial intelligence will not get worse or better – he will get stronger. I say this because I understand that the main source of human strength is not in the muscles, but in our head.
But the main question is how much a person with individual artificial intelligence will be stronger than us, ordinary people. Apparently, almost no one in the modern world understands what this is about and is not aware of the scale of the coming upheavals.
I am currently preparing an article in which I want to talk about the military aspect of this technology. I will not specifically analyze the prospects of a fighter or a tank commander equipped with his own artificial intelligence. I want to talk about an ordinary infantryman who, in symbiosis with AI, will become something much more dangerous than a tank or a fighter plane.
We are waiting for the inevitable transformation … which is already underway
If you look closely at human nature, it becomes clear that the main difference between our species is the ability to change material objects and the environment around us.
Everything we create – houses, mechanisms, clothes – all this is a product of our intellectual efforts, a direct result of the work of our mind, which, inventing something new every time, changes us a little.
The truth is that our inventions change us …
A man in clothes is different from a naked man, and one who lives in a modern house is not like one who survives in the wild jungle. A person who drives a car after a while begins to feel different from someone who has walked all his life.
It’s the same with the computer
Look around you. We all spend a lot of time with computers, smartphones and various electronic devices. We are used to being in constant contact with the technical devices we create, and this started relatively recently. We are literally changing before our eyes, and the fact that at some point our brains will be fully integrated with the electronic system is inevitably the beginning of a new type of AI: artificial intelligence, consisting of a computer and a human brain.
Look around and you will see millions of people whose attention is fixed on the screen of a smartphone or laptop. All of them are proof of the inevitability of our connection to an electronic intellectual system.
I will add: “The moment we deliberately took a stick and turned it into an instrument, the creation of individual artificial intelligence was a matter of time.”
Do you think personal AI is an unusual idea?
In fact, for the last 65 years we have been doing our best to make this concept a reality as quickly as possible!
Let’s remember together how it was
The very concept of AI appeared in 1956 after the Dartmouth Seminar, an artificial intelligence conference at Dartmouth College.
The original idea was to create a mechanism capable of replacing a human calculator. Within this concept, a machine capable of simulating multiple neural connections using an artificial technical neural network had to be created.
In the late 1980s, instead of creating a solid computing mechanism, information processing became a major goal. The main difference between the new systems was the use of flexible algorithms.
At the beginning of the 21st century, based on the increase in computing power, another new idea emerges, which we now call machine learning. The new algorithm not only retained its previous flexibility, but also became able to move the limit parameters, changing the scope of a possible response.
Soon, thanks to the use of high-performance computing systems, it became possible for the machine to learn and gain experience using vast databases and multilayer technical neural networks.
This resource-intensive process became known as deep learning. A good example of this relatively new technology is Google’s instant translation system. Instead of revealing and clarifying the logical connections in the structure of natural language, Google’s new model performs a simple comparative analysis of ready-made versions of the original language.
The new method works on the principle of a black box and at the same time impresses with its accuracy and efficiency.
A similar technique was used by DeepMind in creating the AI for play the game Go. This system (deep reinforcing training) uses two deep neural networks at once (one analyzes the position and the other analyzes the strategies used in past game protocols).
Please keep in mind that with each new stage we are moving further and further away from the idea of creating an alternative for us – technical AI. Instead, we are trying to build a smart tool to help us solve specific problems.
The history of recent decades suggests that what we really need is not a competitor, but a tool – a new mechanism that it allows us to solve various problems!!
The new brain-computer interface will become such a tool – it will allow the brain to turn the computer into a component of the nervous system.
Functionally, individual artificial intelligence can be compared to a group of deep learning programs that our brains will create and develop on their own without the involvement of a third-party programmer. This will be possible thanks to the brain-computer interface.
Can a computer system handle the flow of data from billions of living neurons?
The human brain contains approximately 86 billion neurons, but we are only interested in a small part, about 16 billion in the cerebral cortex. Although technically the interface of individual artificial intelligence will be able to track the response of a neuron, in practice such discretion is not required. Working with neural groups of several thousand neurons can provide quite acceptable clarity in the formation and interpretation of the signal.
The brain-computer interface scanner is a gateway and regulator of the amount of input data
The most important element of the interface is a scanner that reads information from molecular beacons (binary marker objects) that are injected into brain tissue. The main part of the scanner is a dense network of sensor elements based on specially modified and well-insulated multilayer carbon nanotubes. In the test version, this part can be located on the surface of the epidermis. In the working version, the network of carbon nanotubes will work in the inner layer of the skin (in the layer of fibroblasts).
The procedure for installing the scanner itself will be similar to the procedure for tattooing, but it should be much easier in terms of the degree of invasiveness (injury), as the cells of the immune system (macrophages) will not be able to “eat” particles of scanner material.
It is important to understand that the strength of the data flow from brain neurons depends not only on the distribution and activity of beacon molecules, but also on the number of signal fixation points and the frequency of sampling on the scanner. For proper operation, the scanner must be updated with a frequency of at least 250 Hz, but at critical moments (for example in a real battle) the frequency may increase due to the narrowing of the scanner’s bandwidth. In addition, the architecture of the system suggests the ability to change these parameters not only to reduce or increase the flow of input data, but also to combat distorting artifacts.
Thus, by changing the sensitivity or refresh rate of the scanner, the amount of data will always correspond exactly to the capabilities of the system.
This article was originally written by Alex Kostikov and published on TechTalks, a publication that looks at technology trends, how they affect the way we live and do business, and the problems they solve. But we are also discussing the downside of technology, the darker effects of new technology, and what to look out for. You can read the original article here.