Charlatans like Elon Musk aside, the reality of AI is that (i) it’s just a bunch of algorithms aimed at solving very confined problems, and (ii) the idea that our brains are “like computers” is merely the same delusion as the Victorian idea of our brains being “like a mechanical engine.” We humans tend to overlook the myriad details that make all the difference between sci-fi and real science. For a wide range of firm reasons I see zero possibility of “augmented human/artificial life forms” that involve any meaningful capacity to abstract into hardware the poorly-understood functions of the brain. Sure, we’ll continue to augment the things we already do, such as artificial limbs that can be controlled by brain waves, but that’s trivial compared to what would be required to extend the duty life of a brain in a manner compatible with maintaining some semblance of a semi-stable semi-consciousness. The problem domain is vast; the science is meagre; the practical problems not amenable merely to more and more technological sophistication.

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