Elon Musk Aims to Link Human Brains with Computers By 2021

Elon Musk Aims to Link Human Brains with Computers By 2021

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s latest venture is a company that aims to merge the human brain with a computer machine interface by implanting tiny brain electrodes. Neuralink Corp is aiming to bring to the market a product that helps with certain severe brain injuries, according to an in-depth report written by Tim Urban (http://waitbutwhy.com/2017/04/neuralink.html).

"There are a bunch of concepts in your head that then your brain has to try to compress into this incredibly low data rate called speech or typing," Musk told Urban. "If you have two brain interfaces, you could actually do an uncompressed direct conceptual communication with another person."

Neuralink was registered as a medical-research company in California in July. Musk revealed the company is working on “neural lace” technology that would allow people to interact with machines without going through a physical interface.  

How would this work? According to the report, neural lace would involve implanting electrodes in the brain so people could upload or download their thoughts to or from a computer. Musk says the technology could take about eight to 10 years to become usable by people with no disabilities and this would also depend on regulatory approval.

Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai a few months ago, Musk said humans will have to merge with machines to avoid becoming irrelevant. He argued that the human brain isn’t capable of keeping up with computers, which will start replacing people in certain fields of work. He said computers can communicate at “a trillion bits per second”, while humans can only manage around 10 bits per second while typing on a mobile device.

Fast forward a few months and he has unveiled his ambitious plans to help fight artificial intelligence from surpassing the human brain.

"The pace of progress in this direction matters a lot," Musk told Urban. "We don't want to develop digital superintelligence too far before being able to do a merged brain-computer interface."

This is Elon Musk’s third CEO role. He is already running electric-car maker Tesla and rocket company Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

Neuralink aren’t the only company working on a brain computer interface. At this week’s F8 developer conference, Facebook revealed it had been working on similar technology through Building 8, its secretive hardware arm.  The noninvasive brain-computer interface technology will allow people to communicate with external devices and could allow us to type 100 words a minute from our minds.

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