How Facebook could be saving us all from AI apocalypse

There were a few headline-grabbers from Facebook’s f8 conference last week.

Facebook Spaces VR social network was a big one, for example (and one I’ll talk about in a later blog).

But regular readers will probably guess the one that’s got me most excited – and that’s the mind-reading brain-to-computer interface.

Yup, that’s right. Facebook unveiled a system they are working on that will allow computers to read our thoughts and type out text from them.

Don’t get too excited – the system is only currently operating at eight words-per-minute (wpm). And that’s not much.

But they have over 60 scientists working on the project and are aiming to get that up to 100 wpm. That is fast. 

To give you an idea, journalists working in courtrooms use shorthand at somewhere between 100-120 wpm.

That means we’ll be able to type about as fast as we can talk… using just our minds.

But what does this have to do with the AI apocalypse?

Good question. The answer is simple – that is that we will find it much easier to assimilate better and better AI with this new advancement.

I’ve written before about how our human-to-computer bandwidth is a problem (as outlined by Elon Musk, who is also working on something similar to this. Obviously).

This technology would give us a much better chance of keeping up with the rate of change – and will reduce the chances of AI simply running away from us lower beings.

And it’s not just the 100 wpm typing that’s got me excited.

Because the one near-guarantee with tech advancement is that if something works, it’s likely to get better as more people invest in it.

So our ink to the machine would only be likely to improve over time – allowing us to embed ourselves further and further into our digital selves.

It’s important to remember – we are already cyborgs. Our phones have become real extensions of ourselves. Improving that connection will help us to remain relevant in an increasingly digitised world (and universe).

This might sound like hyperbole – but, as with all these things, just take a look at what has already been accomplished in the last 20 years. The world looks entirely different. That change is going to accelerate. So get ready to plug in!

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