AI will be ‘billions of times’ smarter than humans and man needs to merge with it, expert says

Artificial intelligence could be "billions of times smarter" than humans and people may need to merge with computers to survive, a futurist told CNBC on Tuesday.

Speaking on a panel hosted by CNBC at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Futurizon's Ian Pearson's comments mirrored ideas put forward by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

"The fact is that AI can go further than humans, it could be billions of times smarter than humans at this point," Pearson said. "So we really do need to make sure that we have some means of keeping up.

The way to protect against that is to link that AI to your brain so you have the same IQ… as the computer. I don't actually think it's safe, just like Elon Musk… to develop these superhuman computers until we have a direct link to the human brain… and then don't get way ahead."

At the World Government Summit in 2017, Musk, who has warned about the power of AI in the future, said humans and machines must merge to still be relevant with the advent of more powerful technology.

"Over time, I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence," Musk said in February 2017.

"It's mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output."

Musk has founded a start-up called Neuralink that is aimed at just that.

Pearson said Tuesday that some jobs that don't require humans will disappear. AI and the impact on jobs has been a big theme at the World Government Summit this year.

On Monday, Sebastian Thrun, the CEO of education start-up Udacity, and one of the pioneers of Google's driverless car project, told CNBC that AI will turn us into "superhuman workers."

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