Neuralink, Elon Musk’s startup that is attempting to directly link brains and computers, has seemingly developed a system to feed thousands of electrical probes into a brain and intends to start testing the technology on humans in 2020.
Chief Executive Elon Musk revealed the first product from Neurolink , recently in a presentation, that is working already in animal tests.
Musk said, “A monkey has been able to control a computer with his brain”.
The tiny computer chip is attached to ultra-fine, electrode-studded wires that are stitched into living brains by a robot. If this technology works, it will tap signals from across your brain and translate them into code to do actions like controlling a computer, or maybe even to help the blind see. Till now, this futuristic technology has only been tested in rats and primates, but Musk hopes to have it tested on a human patient as soon as the end of next year.
Musk said elaborated that the initial goal is to assist people deal with the brain and spinal cord injuries or congenital defects. This technology could help paraplegics suffering from spinal cord injury. But the long-term aim is to build a “digital superintelligence layer” to connect humans with artificial intelligence, a technology that Musk considers as an existential threat to humanity.
Musk said, “Ultimately, we can do a full brain-machine interfaces where we can achieve a sort of symbiosis with AI”.
Neuralink has the potential to intensely reshape both computing and humanity. The challenges are huge when it comes to developing the technology that is practical and affordable, and then convincing people that it’s safe and desirable.
Brain-machine interface (BMI) technology is being actively researched at competing laboratories, but some do worry that Neuralink’s invasive method is risky.