Elon Musk Launches 'Neuralink' Company to Combine Our Brains with Computers

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 - 3:37PM
Artificial Intelligence
Neuroscience
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 - 3:37PM
Elon Musk Launches 'Neuralink' Company to Combine Our Brains with Computers
NASA Kennedy
The human brain is frustratingly slow compared to digital alternatives. We store memories in confusing and bizarre ways, and while we're great at reasoning, we're not too sharp when it comes to making large calculations on the fly. So says Elon Musk, who wants to fix that.

Tired of being stuck with a boring analogue brain, Musk finally founded a company to help overcome this great barrier to progress. Neuralink Corp has been established with the sole purpose of merging the human mind with a computer, so that humanity can enjoy the benefits of boosting our thought processes with the power of technology. And importantly, it would allow mankind to compete on a level playing field with increasingly advanced artificial intelligence, which is one of the billionaire's biggest concerns.

The product itself would be a "neural lace" that would hook up into your brain, allowing the user to interface directly with a computer without needing to type, swipe their fingers, or do anything rather than simply think. Since his vision for it (rather terrifyingly) involved physically implanting this neural lace into your head, this would essentially turn us into cyborgs. 

Even if Neuralink is finally just starting up now, this is a concept that Musk has spoken about publicly on many occasions over the years. it seems like the entrepreneur's biggest fear is an A.I. boom that we can't control as robotic technology continues to advance, which wouldn't bode well for humanity's future. and wants to find a way to beef up the human brain so that we're not left in the dust by our digital children.

The company's exact plans haven't been made clear yet, beyond his previous discussions of neural implants, but Musk promises that further information will be released later this week.




For those of us who aren't so consumed by the prospect of Skynet and Judgement Day, Musk's plan to make humans more dependent on technology seems a little counter-intuitive - after all, if we can't go ten minutes without Google at the moment, how much more reliant will we become once the sum of all knowledge is accessible within our very brains?

We've got quite a while to wait until we know for certain, as Musk's genius plan is still years - possibly decades - from fruition. In the meantime, we can all watch the new Ghost in the Shell, which points out the dangers of augmenting the human brain with artificial intelligence, to get a sense of what Musk's digital utopia will look like.
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