Elon Musk thinks we will have to use AI this way to avoid a catastrophic future

Elon Musk
Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Elon Musk has long said that artificial intelligence will have to augment human abilities, rather than compete with them, in order to avoid a portentous future.

He has been active in trying to find ways to evaluate and reduce potential risks posed by AI.

On Monday, Musk tweeted out a set of principles for AI research and development created by a group of scientists at a recent conference for the Future of Life Institute (of which Musk is a board member).


Musk said in response to a comment that ensuring AI augments human abilities is "critical to the future of humanity."

Musk recently told a Twitter user that there may be an announcement "next month" regarding such as device, which Musk has called, in the past, a neural lace.


But what is a neural lace?

The actual details are a mystery, but Musk talked about it at the Code Conference in June 2016. Based on what he has said, it is a way for the brain to connect with a computer system through a lace-like appendage that can be draped over the natural human brain, in one way or another. The goal of the device would be to artificially boost human capabilities.

Musk said to think of it as "you have your limbic system, the cortex, and then a digital layer, sort of a third layer above the cortex that could work well and symbiotically with you."

Musk said a neural lace would be something that had "some sort of interface with your cortical neurons" and while it would be more integrated into the body than something like the now defunct Google Glass, implanting it would not necessarily require extensive surgery.

It could, for example be inserted into the veins and arteries, which Musk called "a complete roadway to all of your neurons."