Elon Musk's new plan to save humanity from AI

Ashley Carr
April 22, 2017

Elon Musk teased the world last month by confirming his new venture, Neuralink, a company to create implantable brain chips. Medical applications to treat people with brain injuries or disabilities could be developed in the next four years, Musk says; for telepathy and non-medica uses, Musk says that depending on regulatory approval timing, it could be done in the next eight to 10 years.

"If you have two brain interfaces, you could actually do an uncompressed direct conceptual communication with another person", Mr. Musk said, adding that this technology could allow a person to beam an image into someone else's brain as an alternative to physically describing it with words. The company also faces potential skepticism and even fear from a public that doesn't want anyone cutting into their brains to install some high-tech machinery - according to a recent Pew survey, the public is even more anxious about brain computer interfaces than gene editing.

As promised, Elon Musk has released more details about his newest company.

As an entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk has plenty of ambitious projects in the works but Neuralink might take the cake.

Musk said such technology would initially be used to fix brain injuries due to stroke or cancer lesions where a person has lost certain cognitive elements.

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Some insight into how Musk achieves these milestones reveals that the CEO plays rather an unusual trick to get the most out of his employees. Another technological twist would make the brain implants capable of communicating wirelessly with the cloud.

Now, Musk will be chief executive of Neuralink, which was registered as a medical research company past year.

"If I were to communicate a concept to you, you would essentially engage in consensual telepathy", Musk said in the interview.

Musk likened the situation to the cooperation of the limbic system and the cortex in the human brain.

"We're going to have the choice of either being left behind and being effectively useless or like a pet - you know, like a house cat or something - or eventually figuring out some way to be symbiotic and merge with AI", Musk told Urban. Making it possible to connect with such high bandwith directly into the brain would allow us to integrate cloud-based AI computing within our selves in a way that's indistinguishable from our core selves, Musk proposes, much like how most people would now find it hard to separate their statements and expressions in language from the parts of the brain that generate them.

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