Elon Musk's Secretive Neuralink Brain Implant Is Straight Out of 'Black Mirror'

Thursday, 04 January 2018 - 10:44AM
Technology
Neuroscience
Medical Tech
Thursday, 04 January 2018 - 10:44AM
Elon Musk's Secretive Neuralink Brain Implant Is Straight Out of 'Black Mirror'
Image credit: YouTube

If one thing can be said about Elon Musk, it's that he likes to keep his options open.

Apart from his incredibly ambitious space company SpaceX (which is planning on carrying humans to Mars within our lifetime), Musk has created another ambitious venture called Neuralink, which aims to 1) allow human brains to directly interface with all kinds of software and hardware and 2) give humans a fighting chance against the rapidly approaching wave of artificial intelligence.

Remember, Musk has previously been quoted as saying that "until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don't know how to react."

We previously spoke to the Boston-based startup Neurable, which is working on similar goals, though focused more specifically one brain-computer interfaces for VR and AR using dry electrodes placed on the skull.

Musk's burgeoning plans for Neuralink are a bit more extreme: they include the use of surgery, brain implants, and the use of new hardware to allow humans to store vast amounts of information.

The key to Neuralink is "neural lace," a cutting-edge piece of tech that promises to create a more effective brain-computer interface:

"At its most basic form, neural lace is an ultra-thin mesh that can be implanted in the skull, forming a collection of electrodes capable of monitoring brain function," Musk explains. "It creates an interface between the brain and the machine. To insert neural lace, a tiny needle containing the rolled up mesh is placed inside the skull and the mesh is injected. As the mesh leaves the needle it unravels, spanning the brain."

Neuralink has already raised $26.96 million in funding, though it's unclear where the company is headed now—the difficulties of neurocybernetics are not an easy nut to crack, and the company is reportedly not seeking any more funding for now.

You can read a fun, lighthearted overview of Neuralink's goals here, complete with funny visual aids, and check out there website here (they're hiring!).

Science
Science News
Technology
Neuroscience
Medical Tech
No