Elon Musk and his Neuralink

You have to hand it to Elon Musk. The man is nothing if not ambitious. After launching efforts to build electric cars, colonize Mars, create a giant snaking tube to carry people great distances at the speed of sound and generally making Tony Stark look like an unambitious slob, Musk has now come up with plans to create the world’s first human-machine neural interface.

Digital Vs Biological Intelligence

Neuralink, which is the name of Elon Musk’s latest venture, plans to take a piece of technology that has hitherto existed in science fiction and turn it into reality. Fans of the movie Pacific Rim will remember the ‘Neural Bridge,’ a piece of tech within the movie’s reality which allowed human pilots to interact with and control their giant robot charges using their minds instead of any physical controls.

Elon Musk

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A similar kind of technology is being attempted by Neuralink. The main idea is to find a way to install software inside the human brain that can interact with the brain as well as the external world in a number of ways.

Making you Smarter

The software will act in a manner similar to how adding an extra processor to your computer will help it perform functions at increased speeds and with greater efficiency. The software in your brain will help you retain more memories, think more swiftly and even increase your creative capacity. Additionally, you’ll be able to connect to the internet directly through your brain, which means all the storage and processing resources that the digital world has to offer can be used by your brain to help it think better.

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F**king Telekinesis, Man!

There’s a more scientific way to write the heading for this entry, but nothing else can capture the level of coolness offered by Neuralink by allowing you to control objects with your mind. Of course, you won’t be able to control everything. But every kind of electronic item that carries a computer chip, from cars to computers, mobiles, and household appliances will be able to follow the commands beamed from your mind using the software installed in your brain. With every machine under your mind’s control, you may never, ever have to move again!

Elon Musk

The Future of Humanity

Movable Prosthetics

This is in some ways an extension of the earlier point, but its relevancy to the current medical climate requires its own entry. The prosthetics that amputees use today are quite bulky affairs, made of steel and plastic polymer combinations that are difficult to guide properly.

However, the technology being developed by Elon Musk and his team will allow candidates to move their prosthetic limbs with a simple thought command, in the same way that regular people move their limbs. What this means is that the prosthetics of the future won’t simply be immovable stumps shaped to resemble actual body parts, but will carry movable parts whose motions are controlled by the brain. So patients who use prosthetics will be able to freely contract their fingers, bend their toes and perform other basic functions with their limbs like everyone else.

Fight Diseases

One reason we believe the Neuralink can’t get here fast enough is because of how it is expected to transform the way doctors treat mental illnesses. Research has already shown that placing a chip in the brain which releases electrical signals helps manage the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Similar treatments have been proven to be effective for spinal injuries, obesity, and anorexia among others.

The scientists behind the Neuralink hope to use the software to treat medical conditions by rearranging the brain’s working in much the same way that scientists currently use biological and genetic manipulation to come up with stronger species of plants and animals.

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Robo-Humans

All this work on human-machine integration leads to the one inevitable conclusion: Robo-Humans, aka humans with the physical make-up of machines. Such a species of humanity, which scientists have only speculated about, will basically be humans without any of the human frailties. Weak organic tissue will be replaced by smart steel that obeys our every command. Brains will be capable of traveling through the internet to coalesce with every other brain in existence, and human life spans will be calculated in the thousands or even millions of years, depending on how long their metal bodies last.

And Provided Rain Doesn’t Make Them Rust

Okay, Slow Down Now..

Of course, that kind of progress is way, way, way down the line from the present. Right now, the Neuralink’s only aim is to come up with a technique which will allow scientists to insert complex machines inside brains without causing a short circuit for either the machine or the brain.

And it certainly won’t all be smooth sailing for Elon Musk and his Neuralink venture. Several questions need to be answered before the technology can be considered viable. The decades of research needed to perform such a surgery and adapt technology to be housed inside brains is only just starting to be performed.

The most essential component of this research is living brain matter, procuring which involves volunteers willingly signing up for a procedure to insert strange metal parts inside their heads. Understandably, this is not an operation that many people wish to participate in.

What are thoughts about the ambitious neural interface technology? Do you think it will improve our lives in general or lead to a future resembling the one depicted in The Terminator? Let us know in the comments below!

[More: Elon Musk Announces Neuralink Venture to Connect Your Brain With AI]

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