Elon Musk Launches Brain Computer Interface Company Called Neuralink

elon musk

Building a mass-market electric vehicle and colonizing Mars aren’t ambitious enough for Elon Musk. The billionaire entrepreneur now wants to merge computers with human brains to help people keep up with machines.

The founder and chief executive of Tesla Inc. and Space X has launched another company called Neuralink, according to people familiar with the matter. The company, which is still in the earliest stages of existence and has mostly been kept under wraps, is centered on creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain, with the eventual purpose of helping human beings merge with software and keep pace with advancements in artificial intelligence.

Neurolace is, in effect, a computer interface woven into the brain. The idea dates back to science fiction author Iain M. Banks’s Culture series: In these, neurolace basically enabled its bearers to access Google in thought. As the neurolace grew with the brain and understood each recipient’s brain’s makeup, it could also restore consciousness after bodily death. The lace picks up on neuronal communication but does not necessarily interfere with the signals.

Hypothetically, neurolace systems could wirelessly transmit signals to external devices; instead of typing clumsily on a smartphone’s keyboard, we could think our messages into existence. Another, seemingly more ambitious use would flip the switch, and allow the lace to communicate with neurons via electrochemical stimulation. Traditional learning would become a thing of the past — think Neo learning Kung Fu in the Matrix.

neurolace

Musk says that, since neurons depend on constant blood flow to function well, a neural lace could be injected into the jugular and then carried, via blood, to the cortical neurons. Such a procedure, though frightening in theory, would be far less invasive than brain surgery. Scientists already figured out how to do so in mice, and hope to do so for humans, too.

But Musk is certain that A.I. will outpace human intelligence in the near future, and he’s not getting any younger personally. Instead of waiting for the robot takeover, he’s taking matters into his own hands. A.I.’s inevitable ascension will at best relegate humans to the role of a house cat and at worst, well — think Skynet.

He said at this year’s Code Conference that if no one pursued neurolace, he’d get after it himself. Now, he’s “making progress,” and if we can hold our collective breath for a “few months,” we may just learn how humans will remain supreme.