The outspoken CEO of Tesla and SpaceX recently formed a new company called Neuralink, whose aim is developing brain-machine interface technology.
Musk employed Tim Urban of Wait But Why to pen a detailed report on the company and what is hopes to achieve. And detailed it is – the intro course alone is more than 10,000 words so if you don’t have a couple of hours to read it, here is what you need to know.
In short, the plan is to develop a brain-machine interface that will allow a symbiosis with AI. It will also be used to treat severe brain injuries and disabilities (stroke, cancer lesion, congenital). For this instance, Musk believes it will take four years to have something on the market. For people without any disability, the timeline is more like eight to ten years.
The bottom line is creating a system thaw would be implantable, biocompatible and wireless in nature, allowing humans to communicate with computers or each other with only their thoughts. Musk believes this way, we can be symbiotic with AI instead of being replaced by it.
The team involved in the Neuralink venture consists of some of the best scientists and engineers in several interconnected fields, coming from places such as IBM, MIT, and Berkeley, each with a Ph.D. or more to their name.
Much of the report is dedicated to a discussion of how the brain has developed over time and what the “Wizard Era” of direct brain communication could be if Neuralink succeeds. 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.
However, everything Musk has done so far, from building his own rocket to building an EV company and numerous other projects, turned out rather fine, given his resources and penchant for business rationale, as well as tech advancements. We are a few years away from finding out if Neuralink will follow the same path of success.
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