Read More: Popular Science
Apparently "Battlestar Galactica" had it right all along. Technology mogul Elon Musk says the way to deal with advancing artificial intelligence is to merge with machines—or risk being made redundant. At the 2017 World Government Summit in Dubai on Monday, Musk commented that “some kind of high-bandwidth interface to the brain will be something that helps us achieve symbiosis between human and machine intelligence.” The statement came during a question and answer session in which Musk had already articulated that, “There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot can’t do better.” His argument is essentially that because computers, well, compute much faster than our sluggish cerebrums, we’ll need to somehow supercharge our brains to stay relevant in the age of artificial intelligence. It’s a pretty ambitious solution, given the current limitations of brain-computer interfaces, though it’s in line with the sort of fanciful ideas that media outlets love to quote Musk on. Let's be clear here: What Musk is proposing may be far-fetched, but it’s a response to a very real problem that's going to affect a lot of people in the near future. Jobs that involve predictable manual labor are in danger of becoming obsolete. McKinsey & Company estimates that about 78 percent of those types of jobs (along with 69 percent of data processing and 64 percent of data collecting) could become completely automated. Driving-related jobs are likely to become increasingly automated as self-driving technology improves, and given that those were the most common jobs in 29 states as of 2014, we should absolutely be focused on finding a solution. But Musk has also floated a much simpler—and more realistic—solution. And you won’t hear about in the headlines.