Combining human & artificial intelligence will require crazy connections

With self-driving cars, smart homes, and question-answering robots, connected devices are increasingly becoming a way of life. But, Elon Musk thinks they could become extensions of ourselves quite literally, and soon.

Tons of data is exchanged between us, our connected devices and the servers they report back to. We have cars that autonomously drive and IoT connected devices that work at “a trillion bits per second” – speeds that are almost unimaginable to our human minds. But while they might seem unimaginable, Musk told the crowd at the World Government Summit in Dubai that they might just be attainable for us with the help of AI.

That’s right. The genius billionaire behind Tesla and SpaceX is imagining an eventual merger of machine and human for the good of our own species. It’s a side of evolution we have yet to see before, and that many of us are reluctant to explore. But, Musk says with AI on the rise and out to take our jobs, humans need a fighting chance to keep up: “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”.

Right now the world is trying to achieve the lowest latency, best connections and fastest processing for all our newly-emerging IoT devices. We have cities that want to deploy these devices to make communities safer and more efficient, and we have companies like IBM and Visa that want to make all our connected devices mobile shopping carts we use seamlessly in our lives. It seems like every day there is a new connection with increasing importance and a need for speed, but Musk’s concept might just be the most challenging yet.

The idea isn’t just astounding because it dares to combine artificial and human intelligence, but because of the sheer magnitude of connections it could add to the world. Imagine an entire global labor force (or two) working as humanoids – part human, part AI, IoT device. Then imagine if (and realistically, when) the average human is offered the service of having a boost of artificial intelligence to get them through the day. If the idea ever comes to fruition it won’t just be awesome for humanity, but connectivity too.

It might just be one of the biggest connectivity challenges ever – as it would need speed, agility, and immense power for possibly millions of people. And just because humanoids would be in the mix, that doesn’t mean all our shiny-new AI and IoT devices won’t stick around. In fact, they might see improvements in their own connectivity with advances in humanoid connectivity itself.

So, what’s to come? Well, no one is really sure. But if Musk’s humanoids are going to see the light of day, we better have the foresight for the connectivity challenges ahead.

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