At this year’s World Government Summit in Dubai, Elon Musk discussed what he perceived to be the most probable future for humanity; one in which people find themselves feeling “useless” due to A.I. taking an ever-increasing share of the labor market. But for man leading the companies that are now making re-landing orbital class rockets just something you do on a Tuesday and soon producing decently long-range, (kind of) affordable fully electric cars, getting phased out by robots is not an acceptable option. That’s where his new company, Neuralink comes in. It aims to help our transition into cyborgs.
News of Neuraneulink’s establishment, which has been registered as a “medical company,” was originally reported by the Wall Street Journal. According to the WSJ, “people familiar with the matter… [and those] who have had discussions with the company [Neuralink],” say that Musk, who’s already the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, has indeed “taken an active role setting up the California-based company.”
Considering the fact that Musk discussed his idea for a “neural lace” at Code Conference 2016, referring to it as essentially the only way to avoid becoming “house cats” for A.I., plus the man’s penchant for starting companies wherever he sees a critical need (The Boring Company could save us all from traffic hell), it’s no wonder Musk is putting his money and insane drive toward making cyborgs a reality.
Making progress. Maybe something to announce in a few months. Have played all prior Deus Ex. Not this one yet.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 28, 2016
But the actual neural lace is the moonshot idea; the longer-term, more groundbreaking goal like SpaceX’s trip to Mars or Tesla’s production of a vast fleet of electric self-driving vehicles. In the near-term, it seems the goals of the company are far less sci-fi, and deal with technologically treating neurological disorders like depression or epilepsy with brain-machine interfaces. Sources haven’t apparently given out much detail about what Neuralink may produce in the next few years, but it seems that near-term products may include brain implants built with more basic neurostimulators (a.k.a. “brain pacemakers”), like those used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
Along with SpaceX and Tesla, and now Neuralink, Musk also co-founded OpenAI, a non-profit that aims to “advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole…” It seems now the best way to do that is to place it inside our heads.
What do you think about the establishment of Neuralink? Do you have your cyborg name picked out? (“Lo-Cuteness of Borg” is taken.)