You’d think the guy has enough to do but, apparently, Elon Musk is still a little restless. The entrepreneur CEO of Tesla and Space eXploration Technologies is about to take yet another CEO role with a new company. What is this company? Well, it is called Neuralink and, if speculation is correct, it aims to merge computers with human brains for a new kind of human experience. Not too much has been divulged about the concept; at least, not on a broad scale. Musk did say, in an interview published on Thursday, “If I were to communicate a concept to you, you would essentially engage in consensual telepathy.”
But here are some things that we do know: Artificial intelligence and machine learning can (and will) create such sophisticated computers that they will be almost godlike (or as close as we can understand it). More importantly, though, humans will need to implant “neural laces” in order to keep up with the computational speed of these machines.
He goes on to say, “There are a bunch of concepts in your head that then your brain has to try to compress into this incredibly low data rate called speech or typing. If you have two brain interfaces, you could actually do an uncompressed direct conceptual communication with another person.”
Obviously, this is just an initial concept announcement. It could take another decade before the technology becomes even remotely usable by the average person. Of course, that would also depend largely on what types of regulatory approval might be available around that time and how well these devices can work when used by people with certain disabilities.
For now, at least, it appears that Musk is trying to garner interest in the technology as his impressive think-tank team has not ironed out all the details. The interest, of course, will fund a short term goal of developing prototypes and continue further testing with success helping to continue funding the long term goal of large scale research and development.
And that research is important: what Musk is essentially talking about is a collective brain. The technology would basically allow humans to be as connected as the machines, with the ability to quickly share information with each other to solve problems. Of course, machines have no morality nor desire, so they do not abuse this power; humans are another story all together.