Elon Musk's Neuralink Corp working to link human brains with computers

Elon Musk

Elon Musk's newest venture Neuralink, a start-up on a mission to link human brains with computers, may sound like science fiction, for Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith the concept isn't so far-fetched. However, that would be but a stop in its ultimate journey - which at its root, is exploiting the potential of the human brain. This is another species entirely, in the same sense that you are a different species from a chimpanzee.

Right now, you have two primary "layers" to your brain: the limbic system, which controls things like your emotions, long-term memory, and behavior; and the cortex, which handles your complex thoughts, reasoning, and long-term planning.

"If I were to communicate a concept to you, you would essentially engage in consensual telepathy". Musk plans on financing the company mostly by himself.

In March, the Wall Street Journal reported that Musk had launched a company through which computers could merge with human brains. "I think people - they're already kind of merged with their phone and their laptop and their applications and everything". Making it possible to connect with such high bandwith directly into the brain would allow us to integrate cloud-based AI computing within our selves in a way that's indistinguishable from our core selves, Musk proposes, much like how most people would now find it hard to separate their statements and expressions in language from the parts of the brain that generate them.

"The machine to accomplish this would need to be something like Lasik, an automated process - because otherwise you just get constrained by the limited number of neural surgeons, and the costs are very high", he told Urban.

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There are a lot of hurdles in Neuralink's plans, from "installing" the neural implant without surgery (in a non-invasive way), as well as achieving enough bandwidth between the neural implant and the brain.

Speaking to Wait But Why Musk explained that the product will help those with severe brain injuries caused by stroke or cancer lesion.

Although this idea may creep people out, Musk said the level of technology available today already makes people a "cyborg". To date, we've never put more than roughly 200 electrodes in a person's brain at one time.

Musk said: "It is important to note that this depends heavily on regulatory approval timing and how well our devices work on people with disabilities".

One of the major problems that Neuralink will face is limited bandwidth.

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