Neuralink and Tesla have an AI problem that Elon’s money can’t solve

All the money in the world + deep learning = more expensive deep learning

Neuralink and Tesla have an AI problem that Elon’s money can’t solve

STORY BYTristan Greene

Elon Musk’s problems are bigger and more important than yours. While most of us are consumed with our day-to-day activities, Musk has been anointed by a higher power to save us all from ourselves.

He’s here to ensure we eliminate car accidents, make traffic a thing of the pastsolve autism (his words, not mine), connect human brains to machinesfill the night sky with satellites so everyone can have internet access, and colonize Mars.

He doesn’t exactly know how we’re going to accomplish all those things, but he has more than enough money to turn any and every single good idea he’s ever had into a functioning industry.What the hell is PSD2?PSD2 could revolutionize the EU’s finance sectorREAD ARTICLE

Who cares if Tesla’s 10, 20, or 100 years away from actually solving the driverless car problem? Financial experts are in near-unanimous agreement that $TSLA is doing just fine with its current amount of progress.

What the scientific and machine learning communities think is usually irrelevant to the mainstream when it comes to Musk. The entire field’s views on driverless cars are usually relegated to a mumbling sentence in the next-to-last paragraph of articles about Tesla’s endeavors.

It typically goes something like this: “some experts think these technologies may take longer to mature.

And who cares if Neuralink’s already missed expectations and is currently about to “invent” a brain-computer interface that’s exactly as sophisticated as the one Eberhard Fetz built back in 1969?

People who get the opportunity to invest in Neuralink will make money as long as Elon keeps the hype-train going. Never mind that the distant technology he claims will one day take the common BCI his company is making today and turn it into a magical telepathy machine is purely hypothetical in 2021.

The reality is that AI can’t do the things Musk needs it to do in order for Tesla and Neuralink to make good on his promises.

Here’s why:

  1. AI has a serious “mapping” problem that Tesla, Neuralink, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, OpenAI, DeepMind and the rest of the players in the field currently have no idea how to solve.
  2. Elon’s money is useless here.

AI’s “mapping” problem

When we talk about a mapping problem we don’t mean Google Maps. We’re referring to the idea that maps themselves can’t possible by one-to-one representations of a given area.

Any “map” automatically suffers from severe data loss. In a “real” territory, you can count every blade of grass, every pebble, and every mud puddle. On a map, you just see a tiny representation of the immense reality. Maps are useful for directions, but if you’re trying to count the number of trees on your property or determine exactly how many wolverines are hiding in a nearby thicket, they’re pretty useless.

When we train a deep learning system to “understand” something, we have to feed it data. And when it comes to massively complex tasks such as driving a car or interpreting brain waves, it’s simply impossible to have all of the data. We just sort of map out a tiny-scale approximation of the problem and hope we can scale the algorithms to task.

This is the biggest problem in AI. It’s why Tesla can use Dojo to train its algorithms in millions, billions, or trillions of iterations – giving its vehicles more driving experience than that of every human who has ever existed combined — and, yet, it still makes inexplicable mistakes.

We can all point to the statistics and shriek “Autopilot is safer than unaugmented human driving!” just like Musk does, but the fact of the matter is that humans are far safer drivers without Autopilot than Tesla’s Full Self Driving features are without a human.

Making the safest, fastest, most efficient production car in history is an incredible feat for which Musk and Tesla should be lauded. But that doesn’t mean the company is anywhere near solving driverless cars or any of the AI problems that plague the entire industry.

No amount of money is going to brute-force human-level algorithms, and Elon Musk may be the only AI “expert” who still believes deep learning-based computer vision alone is the key to self-driving vehicles.

And the exact same problem applies to Neuralink, but at a much larger scale.

Experts believe there are more than 100 billion neurons in the human brain. Despite what Elon Musk may have recently tweeted, we don’t even have a basic map of those neurons.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s