Reports that Elon Musk formed a company in California 6 months ago, by the name of Neuralink, with the goal of merging human brains and machines are surfacing. And Max Hodak, who says he is a member of the Founders Team, confirmed the existence of the company. It’s no surprise that the announcement immediately brings up images of superhumans and even the world-famous cyborg Neil Harbisson. Indeed, the idea of an Elon Musk Neural Link reality is an incredible pursuit.
Last February in Dubai, Musk made a speech in which he said that humans would have to soon merge with machines or be in danger of being “left behind”. His reasoning was that as artificial intelligence develops, the typical human/machine interface of using fingers on a keyboard simply becomes too slow to keep up. A direct interface—a wired brain so to speak—would be much faster and provide humanity a purpose on the planet, at least for a little bit longer. Musk also highlighted that “Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.”
Other Details on the Matter of Cyborg Technology
At any rate, the majority of the financial community recognize that the February statement alluded to Neuralink. The company has begun hiring staff—including engineers and neuroscience interface researchers from Lawrence Livermore, University of California San Francisco and Boston University. Primarily, it is believed that Neuralink will delve into the same lines of research as Kernel—which evolved from Braintree. Other companies in the field, including Kernel, don’t really pursue merging human brains with machines, Instead, they use machines to help humans who may have diseases or damages that affect the normal function of their brains and nervous systems. Their approach is therapeutic rather than an enhancement. And although the field is very new, great strides have been made.
The world’s first “cyborg”, Neil Harbisson, developed the technology to offset his color-blindness. He wasn’t looking for superpowers. But he says he has created an entirely new sense. He has an antenna implanted in his skull that has a camera mounted on it. The camera is connected to a processor, which analyzes each color in the visual spectrum. Then it turns into a frequency that Harbisson can “hear” in his head. It allows him to distinguish between different colors. It is a creative and remarkable adaptation to allow him to “hear” color. Harbisson says that it is an entirely new sense—and in a real way, he is correct. “I see it as a new sensory organ that extends my perception of color,” notes Harbisson.
The Bottomline of the Elon Musk Neural Link Reality
Of course, Elon Musk’s Neuralink—or the Elon Musk Neural Link reality—is pushing the view that humans must become cyborgs for mere survival and value, not as liberating experience. It isn’t really about making the blind “see” as much as keeping pace with machines to avoid extinction, so to speak. In Dubai, he specified that going cyborg is the best way to solve the “control and useless” problem. However, his new venture is getting a bit of negative feedback, especially in the financial press. Musk seems to be stretched a bit thin and most of his ventures aren’t producing a profit. Tesla, in particular, is regarded as wildly overvalued. The financial industry would like him to just make a profit on that first before he jumps into creating a machine interface with a load of hyperbolic promises.