What is Neuralink?
We’ve all fancied the idea of artificial intelligence at one point or another. We all know a science fiction book or movie that included an artificial intelligence, both nice and hostile. As computer technology improves and the age of learning computers has begun, artificial intelligence seems to be getting closer and closer to reality.
On March 27th, 2017, Elon Musk confirmed a new business venture called Neuralink via twitter. Shortly after the Wall Street Journal reported on it.
The billionaire is the CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla, two very successful companies in their respective industries. Now, he’s branching out again wanting to bring technology innovation to the human brain itself.
But what is he doing and what does he hope to achieve in this new business?
What Is Elon Musk Doing?
I have been following Elon Musk’s work since he established himself in the aerospace field with SpaceX. The billionaire hasn’t been shy about his ambitions in the past. He announced both plans for a manned mission to Mars for SpaceX and affordable electric cars for Tesla. His new venture appears to be attempting to create a brain-computer interface. Which, I think, we can all agree, is very ambitious.
But why would he do this, and how does it tie in with artificial intelligence? Well, Musk has made his fears of artificial intelligence rising up and taking over the human race well known. He isn’t trying to hide anything.
Anyone who has seen the Terminator movies knows just how terrifying a sentient and all controlling AI can be. So his fears aren’t completely unfounded.
He believes that to keep the computers from rising up against us, we need to merge ourselves with computers to create a human-cyborg. Musk even has support from Stephen Hawking on the subject, who also fears that AI could rise up and overtake the human population if it gains too much control.
Elon Musk appears to be doing what he’s always done: bringing new innovations in technology to everyday objects. He brought a reusable rocket to the space industry and a sports car to the world of electric cars.
And now, he wants to upgrade the human brain which could be very interesting.
What Does He Hope to Achieve?
Well, it’s hard to say. Musk hasn’t elaborated too much on how he intends to go about this new endeavor. And Neuralink is a private company who isn’t sharing with the public right now. However, there have been a few mentions on what Musk wants to do.
Computers, as they stand, are an input-output situation. We put a request for information in, and it spits the information back out at us. Musk wants to change this to a more direct approach. Though how he intends to do this is still up for debate.
We know from Musk’s own admissions that he believes cyborgs are the next step in human evolution. This could be a step in that direction, though it’s only speculation. We can only wait to see what is released in the future.
Musk mentioned in the confirmation twitter post(5) that a longer piece will be released on the site waitbutwhy sometime in the upcoming week. So it looks like we have some awesome stick figure animations to look forward to explaining Musk’s new project to us.
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) 28 March 2017
The billionaire has worked closely with the website in the past using several animations explaining his various projects from SpaceX to Tesla to his proposed hyperloop project.
It looks like it’s too early to do anything but speculate on Musk’s plans and intentions. We hope that he releases more information in the near future. But all we can do for now is wait for that animation to come out. I cannot wait to see what Musk is planning on doing and will be following the subject closely.