How will Neuralink change the labor market?

In early November of this year, it was reported that Elon Musk’s Neuralink Corp. was looking for a volunteer for its first clinical trial, i.e. a person who would be willing to have a piece of their skull removed by a surgeon so that a robot could insert a series of electrodes and ultra-thin wires into their brain. When the robot is done, the missing piece of skull will be replaced by a quarter-sized computer that should remain there for years. Its job will be to read and analyze a person’s brain activity, and then transmit this information wirelessly to a laptop or tablet.

This is the Neuralink implant, which Musk promises will be available to almost anyone in the future, and with which they will be able to download knowledge like Keanu Reeves does in The Matrix or upload their thoughts to a storage facility, even to another brain.

The safety of implantation for humans is still being investigated, as hundreds of studies have already been conducted with animals.

Apparently, things are gradually moving forward, and we are indeed facing the time of “cyborgs”. Of course, they will have advantages in the labor market.

Imagine, for example, the integration of Neuralink with GPT-10, which will be able to provide accurate, detailed, and instant answers to everything. With this combination, people will be able to communicate and process information at an unprecedented speed. How would you like to have a candidate like that in your interview?

It sounds fantastic and a bit ridiculous, but such situations are already being discussed on Quora. For example, here is a thread titled “What are the possible socio-economic impacts of Neuralink?” 

Investment analyst Victor Sing gives a detailed answer, where he points out several points from our near future:

  • Learners can “go to school” by allowing the interface to direct experiences and thoughts into consciousness – instead of reading, listening and interpreting from our sensory feeds.
  • A new profession would arise: mind-workers; with low-cost training (patterns fed into our brains), individuals can “lease” their “mind hour” to institutions via the MMI.
  • Once programs and systems develop to interface with large number of mind-workers, this would become a new way of employment with only one qualification: a functioning mind.
  • Mind-based communication would become possible, and it would open doors to new type of relationships.
  • Feelings and thoughts would become commodities for exchange and purchase, leading to new media and entertainment industries.
  • Economic challenges such as low productivity and labor market polarization would ease (and as a result, easing inequality).

I don’t want to think too far ahead, but it seems that the only panacea in the labor market will be skills-based hiring. Yes, will be the key to an objective assessment of candidates “pumped up” by artificial intelligence. Some skills, especially communication or emotional ones, such as empathy, etc., cannot be loaded into the head like chips into a supermarket basket. And their numerous combinations may be crucial for certain projects. Of course, there is no need to add such skills yet, but we are ready. What do you think about this, Elon Musk?

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