Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has developed electric cars with Tesla and sent rockets to space and back with SpaceX.
But now he is taking on what may be the REAL final frontier: combining man and machine with a new technology dubbed “Neuralink”. The new brain implants would allow data to be transmitted between humans and computers.
CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.
An array of tiny threads– only a tenth as big as a human hair– embedded with thousands of electrodes– is inserted into the brain by a robotic device. The threads are connected to a chip that transmits back and forth to an external receiver.
“The interface to the chip is wireless, so you have no wires poking out of your head, very important. It’s basically Bluetooth to your phone,” said Elon Musk, Neuralink CEO.
Musk says Neuralink may help the human brain cure diseases and even reverse paralysis. Eventually, it could be used to connect with external devices.
Neuralink implants have been successfully placed in rats and, according to Musk, at least one monkey, who was able to control a computer with its brain. The company hopes to implant the first Neuralink into a human patient by the end of the year.
“Think with a high bandwidth brain-machine interface, I think we can actually go along for the ride, and we can effectively have the option of merging with A.I. This is extremely important,” said Musk.
Some analysts worry this technology could have unforeseen negative impacts.
“We are not aware yet that the technology has gone in reverse meaning that you can use some sort of external force to implant thoughts or something else inside of the brain…As with anything else there are downsides. Think about a hacker getting into a brain interface. That’s one. Think about government control of peoples’ brains, controlling what they think, things like that are obviously a concern,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO of TMCNet.