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Christian expert warns lines between human and machine could blur as Musk's brain chip experiment begins

by Premier Journalist
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A Christian futurist says AI brain implant technology could blur the understanding of what it means to be human and has urged Christians to engage in the debate on the subject.

It's as Elon Musk confirmed the first human to receive a brain chip from his company is recovering well.

The company Neuralink hopes the tech will allow people with disabilities to control devices using their mind.

Social commentator and technology expert Mal Fletcher told Premier there are "great potential benefits" to the tech, which will aim to alleviate the impact of Alzheimer's disease by protecting and strengthening faculties of the brain.

However, Fletcher is concerned about its vulnerability to dangerous ownership.

"Who owns the data generated by my thoughts? Do I own it? Does Neuralink own it? And might some third party like a marketing company or even a government agency be able to get access to it? I think the possibilities for what we call technology creep here are endless, you know, technology introduced for one purpose may then be used for a different purpose without any open debate. So there are big questions, but also benefits."

Neuralink, according to Fletcher, would have far greater scope to control the brain than previously tested technology as it would not be limited to specialized areas but can instead communicate wirelessly to different areas of the brain.

It, therefore, runs the risk of "blurring the line between human and machine."

"We already treat phones as an extension of our physiology, but at least we can turn them off or leave them at home in a bedroom drawer. Building tech into the human body raises the possibility that we might become hackable and trackable devices. And some people argue that the line between humans and tech is no longer important. I happen to believe it is."

Fletcher insists companies and governments need to broaden out the debates to include philosophers, physicists, people who are involved in medicine, and even theology in order to draw ethical guidelines that define and protect "what it means to be human."

He also urges Christians to look to Psalm 24, which he believes discourages us from burying one's head in the sand when it comes to the debate over tech.

"The earth is the Lord's and the fullness of it, and everything, everyone who dwells in it. [Psalm 24:1]

"So the whole earth belongs to the Lord, not just the church, not just things concerned with spiritual aspects of life, but all of life he created and all of it belongs to him.

Ultimately, our job is to be good stewards of that. So, as Christians, our responsibility is not to retreat into just personal piety but to engage with the civic authorities and those who make the choices that affect people's lives and, in fact, reflect how people will respond to the message we're given."

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