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A slightly facetious title for this article, but in principle, could this be next?

Elon Musk is confounding the FBI (and who knows who else?!) with his revelations from the Twitter Files, but he is also apparently providing YNH (Yuval Noah Harari) and Klaus Schwab with the technology to link our brains into "the cloud" - whatever that may be we don't know, but it's sure to involve the latest AI technology.

OK, certainly it will be used to good effect in enabling the disabled to function again, but when we start talking about augmenting our thinking, we can readily envisage a much darker scenario.

Could we actually control such technology? Clearly there would have to be limits inbuilt. When does augmentation morph into ever more powerful brainwashing, and ultimately into outright control? 

It's not hard to think that our bodies might become little more than robotic extensions of the system, in which case why not replace them with a real robot and do away with all the messy and expensive complications of eating drinking sleeping and excreting? Just walk the robot to the local maintenance bay once a year for the upgrade, and we can all work 24 hrs of every day!

Do we really want to "upload our consciousness" into a computer network and live forever in "the cloud"? Given that science has determined that some sort of consciousness does indeed underlie all of creation at the subatomic level, and that Nature herself routinely utilises quantum consciousness effects in order to function, would not this amount to merely simulating our consciousness within a system that itself is built upon real consciousness? 

That would be like simulating an ancient ZX Spectrum microcomputer on a modern laptop - it might appear to work but won't ever have the potential of the laptop itself. Would we want to be stuck "playing Space Invaders" for ever?

In fact, do we actually understand the true nature of consciousness, and is it indeed something that could be simulated within an essentially inanimate AI system?

And what happens when we pull the plug on that system? No invention of man lasts forever, and whatever cloud we might inhabit in our electronic simulation of life will at some point become obsoleted by new technology. The controlling owners would likely dump us along with the obsolete - there will be no profit in converting us into the new formats required by the new technology, even if that were possible. They would simply pull the plug. 

The RAIR Foundation explores the current state of play.