Elon Musk: Neuralink brain implant will improve the ‘bandwidth’ of human communication

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Elon Musk suggested that putting a Neuralink implant in our brains wouldn’t be a huge leap from our current reliance on technology.

Neuralink; screenshot by CNET

Elon Musk’s Neuralink the brain implant is currently in progress tested on pigs, but the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla wants the brain-computer linkage device to supercharge human communication, he said in a interview with the New York Times published Monday.

“We’re a 300 baud modem. We send information very slowly into our phone or maybe a little faster into a computer if you’re using 10 fingers,” he said on the Times’ Sway podcast. “And it’s just very difficult to communicate. AI will diverge from us just because he can’t talk to us. ”

Since we’re already so attached to our phones, computers, and social media accounts, he explains, putting a Neuralink chip in our brains wouldn’t be a huge change for humanity.


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“It’s like you’re already partly electronic, if you think about it. When someone dies, they still have their – these days their electronic ghost is left around,” he said. . “You know, their Instagram, Twitter or whatever. Facebook, their emails, their website – it’s all still there.”

Before we can improve “our communication bandwidth,” the device’s initial value will be in treating brain damage, Musk said. But he noted that the project is still at “a very, very early stage.” Before getting FDA approval, it will need a thorough review to make sure it has no adverse effects and is removable, he said.

At an event in August, Musk showed Neuralink’s technology, which aims to create a digital link between brains and computers. A wireless link from the Neuralink computing device, which was surgically implanted in the skull of a pig named Gertrude, showed the animal’s brain activity as it sniffed around a pen. Neuralink has a medical goal at the moment, like helping people cope with brain and spinal cord injuries, but Musk’s long-term view is more drastic. He suggested that Neuralink could be used for things like “conceptual telepathy“or people connecting to their own incarnations of digital AI.

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