What does Elon Musk mean by having "a high-bandwidth interface to the brain"?
The human brain can process a ridiculous amount of information per second. Just the visual input is at least gbps, but our only way to communicate with other brains is with words, at a crappy lets say 80 words per minute. I dont feel like translating that to kbps, but its crap, thats pretty clear. Picture anything in your mind, then try to relate it to another human with so much detail that they can reproduce it the same way you see it. One picture, a thousand words, and whatnot.
So, its like having a very very powerful computer with a very very crappy internet connection. Youre f***ed.
The first very cool thing is how this would enable us to relate a lot better with our technology and do crazy things, like google your thoughts, and so essentially using the cumulative knowledge of mankind, through google, as an extension of your brain. Take that, guy from Limitless.
The second, it gets better, is actually communicating with another human being. Like, transmitting your thoughts! WIFI FOR THE BRAIN. ALthough at first we will just be able to send low resolution pictures from one brain to another, but it will improve rather fast.
The main point, is that machines are getting faster, and the rate at which machines are getting faster, is itself getting faster. This scares the crap out of elon, and pretty much every single really smart person on the planet. For more info, read The rise of ai - road to superintellingece, in waitbutwhy.com. Its a few pages and it is, bar none, the most important thing going on on planet earth right now.
So, Elon, like Bill Gates, like Stephen Hawking, like Nick Bostrom, are preeeeeetty concerned about what we are getting into. In Elons words, we are summoning the demon, and, like every single stupid wizard or general or scientist in every single horror or sci fi movie ever, we think we are going to be able to control it. I dont need to tell you what will most likely happen.
The thing is, this event is pretty much inevitable. So we have to change the rules. Since we cannot avert superintelligence, and we cant control it, one of the most sensitive options is to become it, that is, to make superintelligence an extension of our consciousness, or, more likely, make ourselves an extension of it.
It sounds far fetched, but I promise to you that in the next 50 years youll go from disbelief, to laugther, to anger, to acceptance.
It is going to happen. It is, in a sense, happening right now. And incresing the bandwidth of the human brain, that is, increasing out informatino output, so we can communicate and become in a sense part of it, is perhaps our best shot at making it work.
Everything i said here can be found in greater detail in the WBW article mentioned above, and in any number of Elon interviews, since this is a subject that scares him like no other. Just type Elon Musk summoning the demon on youtube, then read the WBW, and start freaking out with the rest of us.
That is the only rational response. Youll see.