Elon Musk has warned of the threat that artificial intelligence poses to humanity – and has launched his Neuralink project to put us on an equal footing with the machines.
But the SpaceX boss has seen another way that humanity might use its collective brain-power to match the capabilities of AI: Twitter.
The social network’s new owner tweeted: “Because it consists of billions of bidirectional interactions per day, Twitter can be thought of as a collective, cybernetic super-intelligence.”
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And there you were thinking it was just a way of sharing funny cat pictures.
Musk did follow up his thought with an important PS: “… with a lot of room for improvement".
However, the Tesla founder does seem to think that Twitter could be used as a collective “hive mind”, like the shared consciousness of The Borg in Star Trek – and some people have already made the chilling connection.
It’s not the first time someone has referred to Twitter’s potential as a group mind for humanity. The social network’s founder, Jack Dorsey, tweeted in April: “I love Twitter. Twitter is the closest thing we have to a global consciousness”.
One unimpressed Twitter user replied to Musk’s “collective, cybernetic super-intelligence” tweet, saying: ”Otherwise known as the dystopian everything app that will control every aspect of people's lives…"
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Others were more excited by the idea, with one saying: “I’ve always thought of Twitter as one of those hive-mindesque cybernetic brains of sorts…billions of conversations, crossing paths with type of people and conversations that would be difficult to match the scale in person in our day to day lives…”
There was another strand of opinion that self-confessed cannabis enthusiast Musk had just sparked up his first doobie of the day.
However, the global mind will have to do without some celebrity brain-cells: horror legend Stephen King, Grammy-winning R&B star Toni Braxton, Monty Python icon Eric Idle and basketball hero LeBron James have all expressed their concern over the new direction that Twitter seems to be taking under Musk and have threatened to shutter their accounts.
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Alex Winter, the film director best known for his role as Bill S Preston Esq in the Bill And Ted movies, has already locked his Twitter account and said he’s unlikely to be back.
In a statement to NBC News, he explained his decision: "Elon Musk taking over Twitter and making it a private company with less oversight has immediately made the platform more prone to hate speech, targeted attacks, and the spread of disinformation.
"If Twitter returns to being a public company run by rational actors, many of us will return."
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