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An electroencephalography (EEG) cap which measures brain activity. Image: Reuters/Michaela Rehle
Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is completely funding a startup known as Neuralink, that hopes to connect human brains to advanced computers, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. It is unclear what kind of products the company will be developing. Musk had previously indicated on Twitter that a “Neural Lace” technology is what humans need to attain “symbiosis” with machines.
Creating a neural lace is the thing that really matters for humanity to achieve symbiosis with machines
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 4, 2016
Neuralink was registered in California as a medical research company in July last year. There is no public presence of the company. Neuralink is in the process of developing a Neural Lace, a device that will allow brains to interface with machines. Tiny electrodes implanted in the brain could allow for uploading and downloading of thoughts and information to and from brains. This type of technology falls squarely in the realm of science fiction as of now. The Matrix had a neural lace of a kind, that allowed humans to plug into machines, but for the most part the machines were using the lace to keep humans in a sedated state.
The Headjack from The Matrix. Image: Warner Bros/ The Wachowskis.
Eventually the goal of the company is to boost the prowess of the human mind, by providing a seamless link to computers with artificial intelligence technologies.
However, the near time goal of Neuralink will be to make safe brain implants, and use them for treating neurological disorders. Brain surgery and implants are extremely risky operations, and are not considered unless there are absolutely no other options available. Completely backing up the contents of a human brain digitally, is one of the paths to immortality available for humans.
The outrageous technological undertakings by Elon Musk are can be explored here.
Last year, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed highly flexible and stretchable optical fibre, which is ideal for use for technologically advanced implants within the body, and can also be placed in the brain without harming the soft tissue. An Israeli company called Israel Brain Technologies have developed a brain implant that allows amputees or paralysed people to operate prosthetic limbs, and even control computers. Researchers have already warned of potential security threats of brain implants, including the possibility of “brainjacking.”