Elon Musk, who is known for tech giants Tesla and SpaceX has recently held a press conference to present key details of his latest business venture “Neuralink” which he founded in 2016. Musk so far has funded the company $100 Million of his own money, their headquarters has been set up in San Francisco’s Mission District.
“Neuralink” has spent the past three years developing tiny chips that are to be inserted into the brain in order to combat spinal cord injuries and much more. The chips are designed to pick up and decipher electrical spikes in the brain called “action potentials” as use the data collected to solve a range of issues revolving around neurological health. Must stated that the purpose of the presentation was for recruitment in order to “gradually increase the issues that (Neuralink) can solve.”
He also stated that one of the main long-term goals for “Neuralink” was to achieve a full symbiosis with artificial intelligence. Earlier this year during the Joe Rogan podcast Musk expressed both his concerns and his excitement for what artificial intelligence can offer. Each chip will be able to connect to an app on your phone which allows customers to avoid having to go to experts in order to read their brain activity.
This idea is not entirely new, devices called “micro-electrode arrays” have been used to connect neurons to electronic devices allowing users to send text messages automatically. This has mainly been used to help para and quadriplegics but has still been limited in its application, using only hundreds of electrodes while “Neuralink” aims to use thousands to allow for the completion of more complex tasks.
Some of you may look at this and see the word “dystopia” written all over it, after all the trouble we get from tech giants including but not limited to mass censorship, it seems highly likely that this new piece of technology could be manipulated against us eventually. Musk is also aware of this. In 2015 he founded a company called “OpenAI” also based in San Francisco, with the purpose of “(ensuring) that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity,” by making it open source so that users can have full control over their personal AI technology.
With human trials set to begin for this product as early as 2020 we will soon be able to see the full potential of what Musk and his team have been working on for the past three years.
You can view the Neuralink presentation highlights here, courtesy of CNET.
What do you think about this new technology, would you been keen to try it out or does the concept seem a bit dangerous? Let us know in the comments!