Elon Musk Has Raised at Least $27 Million to Experiment With Merging Brains With Computers

Wednesday, 30 August 2017 - 10:48AM
Technology
Artificial Intelligence
Wednesday, 30 August 2017 - 10:48AM
Elon Musk Has Raised at Least $27 Million to Experiment With Merging Brains With Computers
Image credit: Pixabay
As anyone who can't function properly without their smartphone will tell you, humans are increasingly augmenting our brains with technology (especially Google Search, Wikipedia, and GPS). Elon Musk is looking to take this concept further with Neuralink, which will involve connecting our brains directly into computers. This plan clearly has drawn some interest, as a new report from the Wall Street Journal notes that Musk has already raised over $27 million for this project.

The funding specifics are a little sketchy—the plan is to raise $100 million in total for Neuralink, but while a public SEC filing states that the project has $27 million in funds from twelve investors, Elon Musk himself has said that Neuralink is not actively raising money, and is, shall we say, evasive when asked about the numbers:




Flaming poop aside, it's clear that this project is moving forward, which means that it probably won't be long before Musk's plans to create the Borg come to fruition.

The ultimate goal of Neuralink is to create what Musk calls a "neural lace," a layer of higher brain function that is entirely digital, and which interfaces with the rest of the human brain seamlessly. With this neural lace, people would constantly be in connection with a computer that could provide extra processing power, allowing us to overcome the limitations of our weak analog brains and helping us to think faster, while also connecting to the internet for a new form of consciousness that takes place online.



Rather understandably, this isn't always an easy sell—not many people are in a hurry to get brain surgery so that they can think more like computers, especially when you consider the speed with which this kind of technology could potentially become obsolete, or the issues of online privacy and security that come up when your memories can essentially be backed up to a remote drive. It doesn't help that when talking about this technology (as in the video above), Musk has a tendency to speak about the human mind in such cold, inhuman language that it sounds like all he's planning to do is put a new hard drive in his computer.

Musk, though, insists that Neuralink is hugely important to the goal of preventing humans from being made obsolete by artificial intelligence. The theory is that computers can never overtake our own ability to learn if we're using computer technology to enhance ourselves at the same time.

How valid this neural lace technology will actually prove to be remains to be seen, but if funding reports can be trusted (again, Musk is being deliberately obtuse about where this money is coming from), it seems that some other wealthy entities trust Neuralink to deliver something significant for the future of humanity.

Maybe in twenty years, we'll laugh at the idea that the Borg were ever a thing to be feared.
Science
Science News
Technology
Artificial Intelligence
No