Special Reports

Elon Musk Aims To Link Brains To Computers With Neuralink


Seemingly borrowing an idea from a 1997 episode of "The Outer Limits," specifically Season 3, Episode 5, "Stream of Consciousness," Elon Musk thinks we are ready to be one with the machine. In "Stream of Consciousness," the protagonist cannot be given a neural implant to connect to the "Stream," due to a brain injury due to an accident. The "Stream" is a computer that holds the repository of the fictional world's entire knowledge, which can be accessed by anyone, anywhere in an instant.

Developing a fleet of self-driving electric cars and colonizing Mars may seem not ambitious enough for SpaceX and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, now he wants to merge human beings with computers. He believes humankind is ready for such a connection through the launching of his new California registered biotech company, called Neuralink, The Wallstreet Journal reported.

In February this year, Musk cites the dangerous situation of deep artificial intelligence. He acknowledges the rise of artificial intelligence, and to survive it, proposed that man should embrace it and become melded cyborg organisms. This is where he resurfaced his idea of the neural lace, which he hinted back in June last year.

The neural lace is a mesh of electronic fibers that would be implanted in the brain to connect anyone's mind to the cloud in an attempt to create super-intelligent humans. Traditional learning could one day become obsolete similar to the "Outer Limits" episode or Neo learning kung-fu in the "Matrix." Musk believes that the neural lace is what is needed for man to achieve a symbiosis with machines, he said in a Tweet.

Aside from invasive surgery, Musk proposed that the neural lace could be implanted via a less invasive procedure by injection through the jugular, where blood carries the device to the cortical neurons. The procedure has already been done by scientists in mice.

It is not clear as of the moment what types of products Neuralink will produce. Noting that it is a biotech company, it is expected to produce products for medical applications. According to reports, the company isn't centering its focus in upgrading humans just yet, instead, the company will explore alleviating dangerous and chronic medical conditions, such as epilepsy, Parkinson's and severe depression through brain interfaces.

Accordingly, this will be the starting point to establish the science for an easier path for approval for human use. Once cleared, it may signal the commencement of its longer-term goal of human augmentation.

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