Elon Musk says humans need to merge with machines to become a sort of cyborg. “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 also launched Tesla in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“It’s mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output.”
Musk explained what he meant by saying that computers can communicate at “a trillion bits per second”, while humans, whose main communication method is typing with their fingers via a mobile device, can do about 10 bits per second.
In an age when AI threatens to become widespread, humans would be useless, so there’s a need to merge with machines, according to Musk.
“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,” Musk explained.
The technologists proposal would see a new layer of a brain able to access information quickly and tap into artificial intelligence.
Driverless cars will happen faster than people realize
During his talk, Musk touched upon his fear of “deep AI” which goes beyond driverless cars to what he called “artificial general intelligence”. This he described as AI that is “smarter than the smartest human on earth” and called it a “dangerous situation”.
While this might be some way off, the Tesla boss said the more immediate threat is how AI, particularly autonomous cars, which his own firm is developing, will displace jobs. He said the disruption to people whose job it is to drive will take place over the next 20 years, after which 12 to 15 percent of the global workforce will be unemployed.
“The most near term impact from a technology standpoint is autonomous cars … That is going to happen much faster than people realize and it’s going to be a great convenience,” Musk said.
Tesla launches electric cars in Dubai
Sales of luxury cars in the Gulf states are among the highest in the world per capita, although some brands have suffered as lower oil prices have dampened consumer demand.
California-based Tesla is accepting online orders from customers in the United Arab Emirates, a pop-up store in the Dubai Mall and a Tesla service center being built on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road, which is due to open in July.
Founder Elon Musk said on Monday that Tesla will open a store and service center in Abu Dhabi in 2018 and plans to expand to Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Musk declined to elaborate on his wider plans or timeline for expansion outside the UAE at a press conference in Dubai.
Telsa’s prices start from 275,000 dirhams ($74,884) for its Model S, which has a range of 632 km from a single charge and 344,000 dirhams for the Model X, which can travel up to 565 km.
Customers who take delivery of the cars, which will begin in July of this year, will be able to charge their vehicles at home or at 28 locations across the UAE, which Tesla hopes to increase to 50 by the end of the year.
Outside the U.S., Tesla’s website says it is in Mexico, Canada, Europe, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.