Some of Silicon Valley’s top brains are trying to work out how to stuff their grey matter into the machines they build.
Bryan Johnson, the founder of Braintree online payments, and Elon Musk have both been trying to work out how to store their brains on their PCs to obtain a form of immortality.
According to MIT Technology Review, Johnson is effectively jumping on an opportunity created by the Brain Initiative, an Obama-era project which ploughed money into new schemes for recording neurons.
That influx of cash has spurred the formation of several other startups, including Paradromics and Cortera, also developing novel hardware for collecting brain signals. As part of the government brain project, the defense R&D agency DARPA says it is close to announcing $60 million in contracts under a program to create a “high-fidelity” brain interface able to simultaneously record from one million neurons – the current record is about 200 – and stimulate 100,000 at a time.
Several tech sector luminaries are looking for technology that might fuse human and artificial intelligence. In addition to Johnson, Elon Musk has been teasing a project called “neural lace,” which he said at a 2016 conference will lead to “symbiosis with machines”.
And Mark Zuckerberg declared in a 2015 Q&A that people will one day can share “full sensory and emotional experiences,” not just photos. Facebook has been hiring neuroscientists for an undisclosed project at Building 8, its secretive hardware division.
However, Elon Musk has been also moaning that the current speeds for transferring signals from brains are “ridiculously slow”.
Far-right trolls have switched their focus from smearing Hillary Clinton and is now gunning for tech wiz Elon Musk – fearing that he might try a political career.
Bloomberg claims that hard-right groups are lining up to back misleading websites and fake journalists who attack Musk’s business empire.
The focus of the attacks is partly true. His businesses were built, legally, with the help of billions in government contracts and incentives for renewable energy and space transport.
But the stories are going on to accuse Musk of fraud and wasting taxpayer dollars. Three conservative sites have run negative pieces about Musk—by a nonexistent writer named “Shepard Stewart”. These stories include “Elon Musk Continues to Blow Up Taxpayer Money With Falcon 9” and “Elon Musk: Faux Free Marketeer and National Disgrace”. Two later retracted the stories.
Sam Jaffe, managing director of Cairn Energy Research Advisors said that whoever is behind the attacks is aiming at Musk personally because they fear he could go into politics. The pattern is the same which were levelled at Hillary Clinton when it became clear she would be running.
There were allegations of fraud and negligence levied at Clinton during the presidential campaign which successfully cemented the public’s perception of her as shady.
“It’s the exact same thing as Musk. There’s a portion of the political spectrum that is scared to death of Musk as politician. They see him as a threat. They’re starting that process.”
One anti-Musk website, Stop Elon From Failing Again launched earlier this year with the mission of becoming a “one-stop database on stopping Elon Musk.” The site combines news aggregated from mainstream sources with pickups from conservative think tanks, plus some of its own posts.
The site is backed by the Citizens for the Republic political action committee, which is led by Laura Ingraham, a right-wing radio host currently under consideration for White House press secretary.
One of the site’s most recent pieces, produced by the conservative Heritage Foundation, compared Musk to “Enron and Bernie Madoff.”
Musk’s SpaceX, which competes with the Boeing- and Lockheed Martin-backed United Launch Alliance, was also targeted this year. The website “Who Is Elon Musk?” produced a stream of stories critical of SpaceX and Musk, just as the former was being considered for government contracts.
Two billionaires with more money than sense are spending a fortune to get scientists to help us break out of the matrix.
The theory that we might all be living in a computer simulation has gotten so popular among Silicon Valley’s tech elites that two unnamed billionarres are stumping up the cash to help boffins prove and come up with ways of escaping it.
Elon Muskand and Peter Thiel have been suggested as the two billionarres who are investing in the break out plan, forgetting for a moment that if they are right they could be cashless nobodies if the theory is true.
According to The New Yorker in an article about Y Combinator’s Sam Altman is the source of the theorys and is convinced that we are controlled by technology. His idea delves into the simulation theory, which is the idea that human beings are unwittingly just the characters in someone else’s computer simulation.
Musk and Thiel are likely candidates as they are mates with Altman. According to Musk, it’s the most popular topic of conversation right now.
“…it got to the point where basically every conversation was the AI slash simulation conversation and my brother and I finally agreed that we’d ban any such conversations if we’re ever in a hot tub. Because that really kills the magic,” Musk said on stage at Vox Media’s Code Conference in June.
Car maker Tesla is suing an oil executive claiming he tried to impersonate Elon Musk to dig up confidential financial information from the company.
The lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, claimed that the chief financial officer for Quest Integrity Group, Todd Katz, emailed Tesla’s chief financial officer using a similar email address to Musk’s.
Telsa claims he was looking to gain information that wasn’t disclosed in an earnings call with investors.
Quest Integrity Group has ties to BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil.
Katz apparently used “email@example.com” to send an email to Tesla CFO Jason Wheeler asking about the company’s sales and financial projections.
Tesla’s brief John Hueston said that the point of this action is that this was perceived as an effort to gain inside information, non-public information.
“Although it was caught here, Tesla is worried about this happening in some other form. This could have resulted in highly valuable information being improperly disclosed,” he said.
However one of the key parts of the story is that whoever sent the email actually thought that no one would notice Tesla using a yahoo account.
Mark Zuckerberg was clearly gutted after SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad destroying one of Facebook’s satellites and he was not backward at snarking at Elon Musk’s company for stuffing it up.
SpaceX suffered a huge setback when one of its Falcon 9 rockets exploded on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral. The accident — described by SpaceX as “an anomaly” that occurred during the fuel loading process — also resulted in the destruction of Facebook’s Amos-6 satellite.
Zuckerberg a bit hacked off with SpaceX, and Musk and focused only on Facebook’s loss. “As I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent,” wrote Zuckerberg.
He said that Facebook had developed other technologies like Aquila that will connect people as well, implying that SpaceX hadn’t. “We remain committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided.”
The Amos-6 satellite marked the first step in Facebook’s plans to bring internet capability to parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. It was valued at between $95-200 million.
Tesla Carmaker Elon Musk believes that we are almost certainly computer-generated entities living inside a more advanced civilization’s video game.
Talking to the assorted throngs at Recode’s annual Code Conference Musk said that soon computer games will reach the point where they will become indistinguishable from reality.
His logic is it would be unlikely that we are the base reality and are already involved in one.
“There’s a one in billions chance we’re in base reality. Arguably we should hope that that’s true, because if civilization stops advancing, that may be due to some calamitous event that erases civilization. So maybe we should be hopeful this is a simulation, because otherwise we are going to create simulations indistinguishable from reality or civilization ceases to exist. We’re unlikely to go into some multimillion-year stasis.”
Musk appears inspired by philosopher Nick Bostrom’s paper “Are You in a Computer Simulation?”
Bostrom claimed that later generations might do with their super-powerful computers is run detailed simulations of their forebears or of people like their forebears. Because their computers would be so powerful, they could run a great many such simulations.
If those simulated people are conscious (as they would be if the simulations were sufficiently fine-grained and if a certain quite widely accepted position in the philosophy of mind is correct). Then vast majority of minds like ours do not belong to the original race but rather to people simulated by the advanced descendants of an original race.
Ordinary people are likely among the simulated minds rather than among the original biological ones. Therefore, if we don’t think that we are currently living in a computer simulation, we are not entitled to believe that we will have descendants who will run lots of such simulations of their forebears.