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Science & Technology

New details of Elon Musk's Neuralink revealed

By T.K. Randall
July 17, 2019 · Comment icon 13 comments

Will man and machine become one ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Glogger / Chris Aimone
The firm aims to make it possible for humans to interact with machines through a brain-computer interface.
At an event at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco this week, Neuralink founder Elon Musk reiterated the project's goals - to make it possible for man and machine to work together as an antidote to the existential threat of an artificial intelligence surpassing our own capabilities.

"I think this is going to be important at a civilization-wide scale," said Musk. "Even under a benign AI, we will be left behind. With a high bandwidth brain-machine interface, we will have the option to go along for the ride."

It turns out that in the two years since its founding, Neuralink has made some significant progress.

The firm has developed very thin 'threads' that can be injected in to the brain to detect neural activity, as well as a special type of robot capable of performing the procedure.
Musk claims that this technology will see 1,000 times more electrodes interfacing with the brain than the current FDA-approved brain-computer interfaces used in medical research.

Trials using animals have been so successful in fact that Neuralink is now looking for approval to begin human trials in paralyzed patients as early as next year.

Musk even let slip that the firm has had success using primate test subjects.

"We definitely need to address the elephant in the room, the monkey in the room," he said. "A monkey has been able to control the computer with his brain. Just, FYI."

"This has a very good purpose, which is to cure diseases, and ultimately secure humanity's future."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (13)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Seti42 5 years ago
It's Musk, so I'll believe it when rich people can buy it. Like his electric cars. Of all the 'promises' Musk has made over the years about advanced tech he has a hand in, only the Tesla is a real product you can get right now. His rockets are doing OK, I hear, too...But obviously they're not for people but rather for government space programs and huge corporations.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Dumbledore the Awesome 5 years ago
Oh something else now is it. That seems to be the trouble with him, he can never concentrate on one thing at a time. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by sci-nerd 5 years ago
So you believe machines can become sentient? Hacking a brain is not science fiction. It's being done with misinformation, religion and superstition every day, and has been for millennia.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Dumbledore the Awesome 5 years ago
I think he has a definite touch of the messianic complex. he's one of those people who wants to reconstruct society to fit in with his visions, and everyone must be forced to fit in whether they want to or not. These people are, at the very least, monstrously egotistic. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by XenoFish 5 years ago
Coming soon to a future near you.
Comment icon #9 Posted by A rather obscure Bassoon 5 years ago
Who will come back from the future to save us?
Comment icon #10 Posted by sci-nerd 5 years ago
To save us from ourselves? Look for the man with the sign saying "Idiot" on his back.
Comment icon #11 Posted by fred_mc 5 years ago
I like that it can be used for medical conditions. I don't like the use of it as a way of enhancing our capabilities/interfacing with networks/electronics, at least not unless people who do it, do it voluntarily. I don't want a future where governments and companies force their citizens and employees to inject needles/probes into their brains to interface with electronics.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Calibeliever 5 years ago
Big old can o' worms, to be sure. Having known quadriplegics and people with muscle degenerative conditions I am excited about the possibility of improving their quality of life through communication and even robotic assistance, but we're humans and we turn everything over to the dark side eventually. If there's any way this tech can be exploited to further enslave humans to the corporate machine, it will happen.
Comment icon #13 Posted by kidagakash 4 years ago
 WIth our current policies regarding privacy and human rights, as soon as this tech becomes mainstream on a country wide scale, not just rich people, and it can connect to the iternet it will need to be regulated by the governnment. If not regulated they will still monitor the hell out of it.They may even elect to use is for identification, or other public servieces. I will be REALLY glad if i'm wrong. People throughout the world are already using forms of mind comtrol but they call i social education, treatment, therapy, etc etc. Since I can'tchange it I might as well not worry about it too ... [More]

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