Elon Musk Believes Brain Parasyte
Last night, Elon Musk tweeted an intriguing — and disturbing — notion about how a brain parasite may be compelling all humans to develop powerful AI.
The Tesla CEO was replying to a National Geographic piece on how toxoplasmosis, a parasite commonly found in cats, appears to be making hyenas fearful of predators like lions. Musk made a stunning and maybe ludicrous leap of reasoning, claiming that the parasite is what is causing humans to develop advanced artificial intelligence.
Elon Musk Tweets
On Friday, Musk tweeted that “Toxoplasmosis inffects rats, then cats, then humans who make cat videos.” On the basis of Internet cat videos, AI achieves superhuman intellect training, making toxoplasmosis the true judge of our fate.
At first glance, this appears to be just another meme tweet from the millionaire SpaceX entrepreneur that we’ve come to know, love, and despise… However, there is a grain of truth in it.
Toxoplasmosis is a single-celled parasitic infection that most commonly affects rats and mice. Scientists believe the parasite alters rodents’ cognition, causing them to lose their fear of predators such as cats and humans. These suddenly bold rats will approach cats, get eaten, and then transfer the parasite on to the cats, who will subsequently pass it on to people — essentially, a symbiotic connection with cats.
Does it, however, have an impact on humans? Maybe. According to LiveScience, studies have shown that those who test positive for toxoplasmosis are more likely to engage in risky behaviour.
What is the Possibility?
In fact, a study of nearly 600 persons in the Czech Republic and 370 people in Turkey discovered that those who tested positive for toxoplasmosis were more likely to be involved in an automobile accident overall.
At the end of the day, a brain infection leading humans to produce superhuman AI is highly unlikely. To begin with, hardly everyone has a cat. There’s also no indication that toxoplasmosis motivates us to work on complex computer science projects.
However, it may lead us to engage in more dangerous conduct, such as investing billions in an electric car startup, attempting to conquer Mars, or attempting to control the entire cryptocurrency market by sending out meme tweets, to name a few examples.