In recent years, numerous scientists and experts in the field of artificial intelligence have warned about the likelihood of AI surpassing human intelligence, and how that development may impact our society. Entrepreneur and technological boundary-pusher Elon Musk has also voiced the same concerns, musing that if AI becomes intelligent enough, it may come to think of humans as nothing more than quaint pets. He wasn’t thrilled at such a prospect, so he came up with an idea, to preemptively incorporate AI into our own brains, to allow us to mentally compete on a level that AI might one day reach.

"The solution that seems maybe the best one is to have an AI layer," he said. "So think, if you have your limbic system, your cortex, and then a digital layer — sort of a third layer, above the cortex — that could work well and symbiotically with you. Just as your cortex works symbiotically with your limbic system, this digital layer would work symbiotically with the rest of you."

There has been a great deal of progress in the field of inter-cranial implants in recent years, allowing people (and monkeys) to control devices with only their thoughts. Miniaturization of the implants to near-microscopic size has been proposed, and less-invasive endovascular implantation techniques are being developed.

Musk’s idea makes sense: one of humanity’s defining evolutionary traits is the expression and development of our technology, and as our natural evolution has added successive complexity to the layers of our brains, and one of the next logical steps on this path could be to add a new layer of our own creation.

Musk argues that we’re already well along this path to cyborgization, with internet-linked mobile devices offering near-instantaneous access to vast amounts of data. but Musk says that while our input speed is extremely rapid, it’s our output — the speed that we can convey information — that is still extremely limited, and could be boosted by adding a layer of AI to our own minds. "…the constraint is input-output. We’re IO bound — particularly output bound."