Artificial intelligence is one of many exponentially growing technologies, which means the growth that we see now in the field will hardly compare to what we see in 10 or 20 years.
Among many impressive AI projects offering glimpses of this trend, the Blue Brain Projecthas “succeeded in simulating a rat cortical column” and recently won funding to simulate an entire human brain, Chris Eliasmith has created a computer model that, “comprises around two and a half million virtual neurons organized into functional groups”, and Jürgen Schmidhuber’s artificial neural networks have beaten humans and other programs in recognizing road signs, handwritten Chinese characters and in diagnosing breast cancer. (1)(2)(3) There’s no real way of telling how soon we may construct full artificial general intelligence (AGI) and have to deal with the massive implications of recursively self-improving intelligence.
Despite hope that AI developments will significantly benefit humanity, the creation of super intelligences does not necessitate a positive singularity or utopia. In fact, there are equally numerous catastrophic scenarios as well. Three of the most devastating possibilities include war over the issue of super intelligence, eventual human obsolescence, and the extinction of all sentient life.
Cyborg technology will potentially bridge the divide between organic and inorganic intelligence, build upon human values rather than supplanting them, and enhance our ability to address existential risks. By pursuing cyborg technology, we will greatly increase our chances of leaving a positive human legacy in the super intelligent beings that we create.