Elon Musk To Connect Brains With Computers

By Earnest Jones, The Goldwater · 03-28-2017
Photo credit: Robert Seminic | Dreamstime.com

Elon Musk intends to implant tiny electrodes in human brains for connectivity with computers. The brain-computer interface venture is being backed by Elon Musk.

Neuralink is a company that is still in its earliest stages of existence and has no public presence. The company will be centered on creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain.The idea is to help human beings to merge with software and keep pace with advancements in Artificial Intelligence. The enhancements could improve memory and also facilitate a more direct interfacing with computing devices.

Musk made a statement in Dubai saying that overtime, it will be possible to see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence. Musk also pointed out that the main concern will be bandwidth. The speed of the connection between the brain and the digital version of humans, particularly output.Musk has responded on Twitter, to fans asking about his progress on a so-called “neural lace,” which is sci-fi shorthand for a brain-computer interface humans could use to improve themselves.

The brain-computer interfaces exist today only in science fiction. Electrode arrays and other implants have been used in the medical field, to help reduce the effects of Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Very few people on the planet have complex implants placed inside their skulls. The number ranges in the tens of thousands. This is based on the fact that it is incredibly dangerous and invasive to operate on the human brain, and only those who have exhausted every other medical option choose to undergo such surgery as a last resort.

Bryan Johnson, the co-founder of Braintree, has founded a startup known as Kernel, the startup is also trying to enhance human cognition. The entrepreneur who sold Braintree to PayPal for around $800 million in 2013 is growing a team of neuroscientists and software engineers. The team will be working towards reversing the effects of neurodegenerative diseases and, eventually, making our brains faster and smarter and more wired.

Kernel is quite frank about the years of medical research necessary to better understand the human brain and pioneer new surgery techniques, software methods, and implant devices that could make a consumer brain-computer interface a reality. Neuralink was founded as a medical research company in California last July. The startup bolsters the idea that Musk will follow a similar route as Johnson and Kernel.

The hurdles involved in developing these devices are immense. Neuroscience researchers say they have very limited understanding about how the neurons in the human brain communication , and the methods of collecting data on those neurons is basic.

It’s also important to note that people are skeptic about brain implants. Majority of people will not volunteer to have electronics placed inside their heads. People will only be receptive to the idea if they have a very serious medical condition they might get help with.

Source: www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-launches-neuralink-to-connect-brains-with-computers-1490642652

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