Internet of Brains?
One of my favourite movies is The Time Machine, Simon Wells’ 2002 movie adaptation of his Great-grandfather’s book The Time Machine. This is the second movie adaptation of said book.
The Time Traveller meets two races of people, the Eloi and the Morloks.
Spoiler alert! Go see the movie first, not really the same as the book.
The Eloi look like people today but live simply and have little technology or real security.
The Morloks are monsters that live underground (troglodytes ) and catch, breed and eat the Eloi like livestock!
There are 3 types of Morloks:
The big-eyed spy Morloks mark the prey for collection.
The muscly hunter Morloks catch the Eloi and drag them underground for dinner or breeding with other farms or colonies of Eloi.
The leader of each clan of Morloks is the Uber Morlok. He is an extremely white-skinned man who never ventures above ground.
His cast have been bred from 800,000 years to be increasingly intelligent.
He has a brain that has broken out of his spine and extends over his back. It’s enormous!
He controls his Morlok hunters and spies with his mind: be creates visions and dreams for the Morloks and the Eloi alike, even across distance and through the ground (Morloks live in caves, remember?).
In the movie, he’s played by Jeremy Irons because, why the Hell would you not want an intelligent leader played by Jeremy Irons?
He nicer here than in the Borgias! Maybe.
Irons is fantastic!
He chats with the Time Traveller who has a question that he’s travelled across time to answer. The Time Traveller is played by Guy Pearce. Fantastic actor! He’s British you know.
(Yes, I know he’s got other nationalities, but this one matters the most. (?))
As they talk, the cave world disappears and the Time Traveller’s home of the 1890s appears, with his late girlfriend (now wife? Time travel is confusing.) and the children, he’d forgotten existed, appear.
The original reason for creating the time machine was to go back in time and prevent his girlfriend’s death. Now the Time Traveller has no reason to create the time machine, he’s happy with his beautiful family.
UM has given TT a vision to explain why he can’t change the past. (UM is what I’m calling the Uber Morlok, TT is the Time Traveller.)
So UM has demonstrated his mind-control abilities.
Perhaps this is how Uber Morlok cast communicate.
With thoughts across distance, from cave to cave, city to city.
Why do they live in simple caves with only candle light, no machines, clothes made of animal (Eloi?) skin?
They only machines they seem to have are pumps to pump bad air out of the caves and good air in. The only services we SEE provided are by the Spy and the Hunter casts — mentioned above: spying and hunting.
UM tells us he keeps the Morloks in check so they don’t just eat all the Eloi at once. That’s a vital service!
Is there more to this telepathic layer than he mentions?
We don’t see any other UMs but we know they exist. Perhaps the Morloks don’t need machines.
Perhaps the Morloks just share ideas and stories by thought.
Maybe they have a Morlok Internet of Brains?
Do they share stories, poetry? dramas, music, documentaries, schooling, history, science, maths, voting all by collective thought?
A hive mind?
How do what we’d call ‘webpages’ work? Maybe the info persists in the memories of those who originated the thoughts or who learned thoughts from others.
How does one access it? Ask for access to stored memories that they can explore/play themselves? Or do they ask for the owner to play the thoughts (like a video) and send to the user?
Password protected? Or maybe only trusted people: family, friends co-workers, police and government officials get access to each owner’s info/memories?
Maybe they grant access as they please, if they’re happy with the user.
Website Adverts? Do they pay for stories and education with their stories and teaching?
It’s pretty easy to keep knowledge from being destroyed if it’s in the minds of many. There are no books or servers to get burnt or flooded or smashed.
The human dangers are kept in check with mind-control.
Oh course people can still die or get brain injuries.
Do Uber Morloks war over territory and Eloi livestock? Perhaps they trade Eloi, Morlok Spies and Morlok Hunters.
Is there a stock exchange in this Internet of Brains?
Snap back to reality. Oh what about telepathy?
Of course, telepathy is not a reality.
People, even geniuses cannot send thoughts to each other without technology or speech. And writing is still technology.
Could we ever have telepathy?
Machines can send information and brains original ideas.
If we combine the two, I think we can.
Okay, we already have computers and the internet.
What if it was onboard? In our bodies.
Brain-Machine Interfaces, BMIs, do exist today.
People, monkeys and pigs can control machines with them.
Neuralink and Facebook, among others, are developing electronics to sit on or in our heads and read our thoughts and send them to other machines.
Will our real internet one day become like a telepathy?
An Internet of Brains?
Am I late on this, did everybody already think about this?
Well, I like to discuss it.
When we are on the Internet of Brains, will we ever encounter people who are intelligent but don’t have human form? I mean AI or AGI, Artificial General Intelligences.
Maybe they will be used for cybersecurity too.
Actually, what most people call AI, Machine Learning, is already used for cybersecurity, but this is not true AI, just simple pattern-matching software, ML.
Perhaps we’ll speak with true AGIs in the near future.
We’ll each have to do our own Turing Tests if we want to decide whether they are human or machine.
How long before the difference is irrelevant?
Humans having machine parts (already do have limbs hearing, anti-depression devices). AGIs having human-like thoughts? Will the differences matter? Will reproduction differences matter? Maybe not in the long-term.
Backing up memories and thought processes:
We backup our documents, photos, videos, audio recordings, computer games (that’s what a save is), diagrams to the cloud already.
Companies like Daden (Birmingham, UK) make digital clones of co-workers so that organisations can still train future employees with past employees’ knownledge and skill.
Check out Daden’s employee clones here: https://www.daden.co.uk/chatbots . “Chatbots” is such a low-grade word for what they are.
The TV series Caprica does this wonderful idea, and takes it to the logical conclusion.
Maybe people will even be uploaded to the internet. Yes, that’s actually an AI. Isn’t it?
Does the substrate matter (the hardware)? Biological or electronics, perhaps silicon. Ray Kurzweil thinks the substrate doesn’t matter. I believe, Nik Bostrom thinks like this too.
Maybe only the pattern matters. Our human bodies are constantly disposing of atoms and molecules of themselves, and using food, water and oxygen to replace those parts.
Our bodies don’t care about which carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms they use. They only care to copy the pattern. We are not composed of the same matter as our parents, only the same DNA.
DNA and RNA can be stored in computers, or at least some simple representations of that DNA. And we know what the true structures and natures of them are, so we can re-construct: we can use the letters, A,C,G,T and U to know what to place in each location.
What about having virtual children? This idea is at least as old the article I remember reading maybe 15 years ago.
Would we print them out into robots or biological beings instead of 8-months-and-20-days of gestating inside women? (Like the sci-fi short story I read.)
Maybe only after they learn the laws of society and the practical side of the laws of Physics. The knowledge we gain now in childhood using childhood play and experimentation, correction and lessons from adults and more capable children, I mean.
Would we only print out those we need physical form of?
Or the most successful, helpful ones?
Some (e.g. Ray Kurzweil) envisage a time when most of the matter of Earth could be changed into intelligent matter.
Then the Universe.
Tell me your thoughts on these topics. I’m interested in your cogitations. You can highlight and comment on Medium content, right here in the article.
I’m Vincent Hall, and I run a Data Science consultancy which I named Build Intellect Ltd. because I’m obsessed with intelligence: machine, human any intelligence. I’m sure you could check out my bio.