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“Elon Musk launches Neuralink to connect brains with computers.” Many years from now, when the survivors of the Great AI War comb through the archives to determine when the Resistance started, that’s the news headline they’ll find to mark the day. At least that’s the idea for Elon Musk’s Neuralink.

The rise of machine intelligence is the crux of many doomsday scenarios. As artificial intelligence approaches the technological singularity, some perceive a threat to humankind as we know it. But is this really science fiction or a burgeoning reality? According to Musk, AI is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed on a human scale. Elon Musk’s Neuralink seeks to do just that. And while much about Neuralink is a mystery, its mission is certainly intriguing.

Elon Musk's Neuralink is somewhat shrouded in mystery, but we know it's out to make us smarter.
Elon Musk launches Neuralink to connect brains with computers – which is apparently how we’ll combat the AI threat.

Elon Musk’s Neuralink: A Venture to Save Humanity

Neuralink was founded in July 2016. However, the company has yet to reveal much about itself. We know Musk fully funds the business. We also know it’s involved in creating an electronic interface between artificial intelligence and the brain. Through electrodes that can serve as an interface between the neurons of the brain and artificial intelligence, Musk hopes to advance human intelligence. According to Musk, the failure to address this is may very well be catastrophic for humanity.

As part of a solution to keep up with machine learning, Neuralink is striving to create a symbiosis between a person and AI. Toward this end, Neuralink has hired many professionals with expertise in flexible electrodes and brain physiology. The ultimate product will involve an electronic mesh that connects with brain neurons. Once in place, the neural mesh will provide the brain with artificial intelligence insights. Rather than an “us versus them” situation, Neuralink hopes to create a “we” solution.

Elon Musk launches Neuralink to connect brains with computers
That old adage “If you can’t beat them, join them”? Elon Musk’s Neuralink will make joining them inevitable.

How Can NeuraLink Make the Connection?

Perhaps much of the mystery surrounding Elon Musk’s Neuralink is simply due to the challenges involved. After all, can an electronic mesh actually connect our brains to a computer? And even if it can, will that allow us to possess AI insights and achieve superhuman intelligence? These questions have yet to be fully explored, but Musk is committed to finding the answers. Researchers have already successfully implanted electronic meshes inside rodent brains by a simple injection procedure. Musk’s vision of the future may not be too unrealistic.

According to published interviews, Musk proposes injecting a neural lace through the jugular vein. It would then travel to neurons where it would connect. This connection would provide the interface to AI through cloud-based systems. If it works, Musk believes human intelligence would excel tremendously.

Elon Musk's Neuralink company could be the key to making people smarter.
A future with Skynet would be grim, so Elon Musk’s Neuralink aims to make the human-AI relationship symbiotic.

A Smarter, Safer Future Courtesy of Elon Musk’s Neuralink

If Musk is able to achieve his mission through Neuralink, the impact could be immense. The idea of “jacking” directly into the Internet has been around since William Gibson’s 1984 science fiction novel “Neuromancer”.  But imagine being able to search Google instantaneously simply by thinking about a subject. Or consider being able to communicate with others through thought-based actions rather than text. Touch-based and voice-based computer interfaces would be a thing of the past. By cutting out the need to issue commands via touch or voice, the speed of information access and communication would increase dramatically.

As for Elon Musk’s Neuralink, the company plans to first explore its AI products for medical use. Conditions like epilepsy could initially provide legitimacy for Neuralink’s endeavors. Success in these areas would then support additional pursuits related to everyday use. The exact timing that such achievements could be realized are of course difficult to predict. But Musk, as well as others, predict these developments could be a reality by the middle of the century.

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