2021 could be the year billionaire tech tycoon Elon Musk plants chips into human brains – and it's not the only thing that could make the next 12 months look like a futuristic dystopia.
The year 2020 has been one of the worst in living memory thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but next year could be even scarier.
In August, The Tesla boss unveiled a pig who had one of his chips planted in its brain.
And he reckons the Neuralink devices – that he claims will boost brain "functionality" – will be inserted into human heads in 2021.
He told Podcast: "There's still a lot of work to do. So when I say, you know, we've probably got a shot at putting it in a person, you know, within a year.
"I think, that's exactly what I mean, I think we have a chance of putting input in one end, having them be healthy, and restoring some functionality that they've lost."
But Musk thinks the chips are needed because he believes without them, artificial intelligence (AI) will one day take over the world.
The chip will focus on curing neurological conditions like Alzheimer's, dementia and other medical issues.
But he also believes it could add "a layer of super-intelligence to the human brain."
Musk previously said: “This has a very good purpose, which is to cure important diseases — and ultimately to secure humanity’s future as a civilisation relative to AI."
But he's not alone in fearing AI after a year of rapid development.
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Deepfakes are predicted to wreak havoc on society, after a year of politicians and celebrities eerily depicted in fabricated videos.
“In January 2019, deepfakes were buggy and flickery,” said Hany Farid, a UC Berkeley professor and deepfake expert speaking to Forbes.
“Nine months later, I’ve never seen anything like how fast they’re going. This is the tip of the iceberg," he added.
Flying cars are also set to be launched next year and could be on sale as early as May 2021.
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But many fear AI will spark mass unemployment, which will fill people with dread after the pandemic wiped out millions of jobs around the world.
The banking and healthcare industry most likely to implement the technology, and Juniper Research predicts that companies will have saved $8 billion by 2022 just by using chatbots, reports DXC Technology.
This year, one AI was even hailed as hailed as being "conscious " earlier last month by a top scientist.
GPT-3 is a language-generation tool that predicts text with minimal human input at a rapid rate.
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And Professor David Chalmers, of New York University and an expert on mind philosophy, even suggested GPT-3 was showing signs of consciousness.
He said: “I am open to the idea that a worm with 302 neurons is conscious, so I am open to the idea that GPT-3 with 175 billion parameters is conscious too."
Please, 2021, just go easy on us.
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