Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk has attended the World Government Summit in Dubai last Feb. 13 where he outlined his thoughts on driveless technology, aliens, and the future of humanity, among others. Wedged among those themes was the claim that in order for man to keep up, he must merge with machines.
Musk's Cyborg Plan
The idea is to keep people relevant on the face of a world that will be populated by robots that are more productive when it comes to work. He has phrased his plan as the merging of biological and artificial intelligence where flesh meets metal.
The tech visionary has invoked the way a computer can communicate or process a task at a rate of one trillion bits per second whereas human brain performs at a measly 10 bits per second.
"Some high bandwidth interface to the brain will be something that helps achieve a symbiosis between human and machine intelligence and maybe solves the control problem and the usefulness problem," Musk explained.
It appears that the concept of cyborg became Musk's ideal amid his widely known suspicion for artificial intelligence. While he had no qualms adopting a simpler iteration of it, the Autopilot driver assist technology in Tesla EVs, he has consistently maintained an aversion for a thinking robot, noting how dangerous that prospect will be.
So, here, Musk wants the human brain in control over a mechanical body.
Cyborg Talk And Tesla Unionization
If you have been reading about Musk and Tesla recently, you would probably recognize that his cyborg proposal seems to be driven by the looming unionization threat at Tesla, which he has branded as morally outrageous.
"There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better. I want to be clear," Musk said at the Dubai Summit. "The output of goods and services will be extremely high. With automation there will come abundance."
That sounds a bit like a veiled, albeit futuristic threat, given the accusation that Tesla has been forcing employees with excessive mandatory overtime.
We can also turn to the account of Jose Moran, the employee demanding Tesla's unionization, for insight.
"Machinery is often not ergonomically compatible with our bodies," Moran explained. "There is too much twisting and turning and extra physical movement to do jobs that could be simplified if workers' input were welcomed."
Moran also claimed that Tesla is paying its employees lower salary than the national average for autoworkers. Musk is now claiming that robots and his cyborg plan will lead to a requirement of a universal basic income.
He punctuated his vision with a remark that seemed targeted elsewhere rather than his audience at Dubai.
"A lot of people derive their meaning from their employment," Musk concluded in his cyborg plan. "So if there's no need for your labor, what's your meaning? Do you feel useless? That's a much harder problem to deal with."