Recently I read The Perfect Wife by PJ Delaney.

I’ve been trying to expand the range of books I read by not thinking too deeply when I select them off the shelves at WHSmiths. I like a straightforward storyline — nothing that demands too much thought or interpretation. I like themes that are somewhat relatable and within the realm of realistic. Perhaps one day I’ll step further into the unknown.

The Perfect Wife was great in terms of the straightforward storyline although some reviewers have been critical of its predictability and character stereotyping.

What I didn’t realise when I started reading this book was that it touches upon the world of AI. Artificial Intelligence is not something that has previously interested me. Beyond watching any mainstream Hollywood films that include AI stories I’ve been pretty clueless.

Reading this book was the first time I’ve really paused to wonder how realistic or feasible AI is. I’ve never been interested before.

Maybe it’s synchronicity, or maybe my newfound interest following The Perfect Wife, but when chatting to my brother the other day he asked me if I’d seen the recent Joe Rogan episode featuring Elon Musk. I hadn’t.

I asked my brother to tell me about it. ‘Was it any good?’ I asked, ‘What were they talking about? Tesla? Space? His new baby’s bizarre symbol name?’

‘Yeah, that,’ replied my brother, ‘and Neuralink.’

‘Neura-wha?’ was my clueless response.

‘Oh yeah, the brain chip that connects humans with computers. He was talking about timescales and human trials.’

I’m sorry — have I just been teleported into a movie?

Have I been living under a rock?

Why do I not know about this?

Why are we not talking about this?

I feel like I’ve been put into a spin. It’s one of those times where you’ve naively been bumbling along with your life, focusing on the present and immediate future, focusing on your small circle of family and friends, your local area and then you discover that the world is not quite the same as your perception of it.

Does it matter?

Do we turn a blind eye because it doesn’t immediately affect us?

Should we be more interested/aware?

Why am I so bothered?

This is incredible and utterly terrifying all at the same time.

To be honest I feel embarrassed that I’ve let this go under my radar for the last few years. Caught up with kids and work and life I guess.

I spent the entire morning on google devouring information about Elon Musk and Neuralink. I asked my husband why it hadn’t arisen in conversations at home.

‘Why have we never talked about Neuralink? Do you know about this?’

My husband is a switched on kind of guy and prides himself on keeping abreast of all the latest news, politics, business happenings.

‘Cause Elon’s a nut job and it’s all pie in the sky,’ was his response.

‘But Elon Musk is one of the richest people on the planet. He’s clearly not stupid. Tesla is cool. And he might be crazy but isn’t that what it takes? He’s someone who thinks in a different way, does different things, what if he really pulls this off? What does it mean for the human race?’

After my initial embarrassment at my ignorance, and my panic at how the world is changing before my eyes, I’ve learnt three things…

  1. I need to be more proactive in seeking out information if I want to be in the loop with what goes on in the world
  2. Information about things like Neuralink are not beyond my academic level of ability to understand (the information makes sense when you read/watch it)
  3. Too much information gives me a headache. I wonder if I’ll still get a headache when my brain directly uploads all that information through its chip?