As if Elon Musk needed more on his plate (he’s boring, rocketing, and motoring all over the solar system while helping us harness the power of the sun), he’s launching another endeavor with the aim of linking your brain to a hive mind.
Called “Neuralink,” Musk’s newest idea is to find a way to link the physical brain inside your skull to an external computer. The Wall Street Journal reports that Musk is “active” at the startup, though the man himself admits he might be taking too much on:
Long Neuralink piece coming out on @waitbutwhy in about a week. Difficult to dedicate the time, but existential risk is too high not to.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 28, 2017
Musk is also funding Neuralink. He’s brought on researchers, and has left the company website sparse so far. He claims more details will come via an article on Wait But Why next week, but those interested in working with Musk on turning all of us into computers can email Neuralink now.
It sounds curious, but fits Musk’s ongoing fear that artificial intelligence (A.I.) will someday overthrow humanity. In his vision of the future – well, just watch any of the “Terminator” movies. It’s basically that.
Musk and his team apparently think a “neural lace” will save humanity. This lace embeds electrodes into the brain which can then transmit your thoughts to an external computer. Let that sink in for a minute: Elon Musk wants you to undergo brain surgery to be able to send your thoughts to a computer. And we thought the Internet of Things was messy now.
This brain-computer link, called a “direct cortical interface,” is where things get murky. It’s not clear if this link will map your brain directly to a computer, or allow you to upload dedicated thoughts. Can you just think whenever you want to record ideas, and things will magically happen, or is there a physical device you need to activate? Is the connection constant, or are there interludes in which person and machine are disconnected?
Even more curious is that Neuralink apparently sees a time when we’re embedding chipsets into our brains to increase intelligence and memory. Still a “medical research” company, Neuralink won’t be asking us to go under the knife any time soon. It’s an interesting idea, and eliminating the interface from computing may have some use-cases in the future, but for a guy who seems to be terrified of A.I., Musk sure is in a hurry to bond us to machines. Speaking of bonding with machines, check out this little girl:
This little girl thought a broken water heater is a real life robot. It’s just not fair how cute it is pic.twitter.com/TLbuKKEEbY
— Ben Tolmachoff (@bentolmachoff) March 27, 2017