Elon Musk has put his (billions) of dollars where his mouth is, after reportedly backing a new venture that would see AI microchips implanted in our brains.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is moving one step closer to a cyborg future by expanding his entrepreneurial horizons into the groundbreaking start-up Neuralink.
Neuralink, which is still in the earliest stages of existence and is registered as a “medical research” firm, according to Musk, has no public presence.
It will be primarily focused on creating devices that merge brain-computer interfaces. With the eventual purpose being that they would help human beings combine with software, to upload and download thoughts, and keep pace with advancements in artificial intelligence, potentially helping to enhance memory.
These devices are currently only the stuff of science fiction, apart from in the medical industry where some electrode implants are used to treat conditions such as Parkinsons, epilepsy and other neurodegenerative diseases.
However the risks associated with surgery to implant such a device in the skull are high.
Musk has taken to Twitter to tell his 7.96 million followers that he will be publishing a long piece on Neuralink next week, which will hopefully will shed more light on his ambitions in this area.
He has also answered questions from fans about ‘neural lace’ (sci-fi shorthand for a brain-computer interface).
This is not the first time that Musk has discussed the possibility of such a venture. It was only back in February that Musk told consumers at a government summit in Dubai, that in the future people will need to merge with robots in order to save themselves from becoming irrelevant.
Musk explained that computers are able to communicate at “a trillion bits per second” while humans are left trailing in their wake at about ten bits per second when we are texting or communicating via our smartphones.
In this instance, Musk says that an interface to the brain will be something that creates a “symbiosis” between human and machine intelligence, and keeps us in the loop, rather than forced out.