Elon Musk is at it again this week with news of yet another business venture in yet another futuristic field of research. He's given us electric cars, a company dedicated to space exploration, is working on clean energy tech, and is building a tunnel, but now he wants to connect our brains directly with computers.
Musk's latest venture is called Neuralink. It's a medical research company whose technology is called "neural lace." Very few details are known, but according to The Wall Street Journal, neural lace will allow individuals to directly communicate with a computer without the need for a physical interface.
Long Neuralink piece coming out on @waitbutwhy in about a week. Difficult to dedicate the time, but existential risk is too high not to.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 28, 2017
As Musk's tweet suggests, we're set to hear a lot more about Neuralink next week from the website Wait But Why.
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The new venture is being privately funded by Musk and hopes to perfect neural lace for use by humans. What it boils down to is a series of electrodes implanted in our brain which then allows a wireless link to computers. Thoughts, and therefore information, can then be uploaded and downloaded as desired. It's a process Business Insider describes as allowing "humans to achieve higher levels of cognitive function," and it would act like an AI layer within our brains.
It sounds as though neural lace would allow for the quick uploading of new information without the need to learn it (just like in The Matrix, but without the physical link in your neck!). Achieving that also means figuring out how our brains store information so as to upload it in the correct format.
One key question that will hopefully get answered next week is: how many years will we be waiting to have neural lace installed? Are we talking less than a decade or multiple decades?