Elon Musk is either a revolutionary technological genius or a mad scientist. His ideas span from putting self-driving cars on the road to colonizing Mars. Just when you think that Elon Musk is running out of ideas, the man recently announced that he is starting a new company that dedicates itself to finding a way to meld humans and machines.
According to an article by Rolfe Winker from the Wall Street Journal, Elon Musk recently launched a company that focuses on linking together computers and human brains.
The sources from The Journal say that this recent company is called Neuralink. The company is already developing a technology that they call "neural lace." If the company succeeds, then this neural lace would mean that humans will be able to communicate to machines without the need for a physical interface. Neuralink was officially registered in California in July, and it's legally labeled as a medical-research company.
According to the reports, the neural lace would mean implanting electrodes in some specific parts of the brain, and this allows the user to download or upload thoughts to a computer. The report also added that the neural lace would allow the user to achieve high levels of brain function.
As of the moment, the media is still relying on rumors for information about Musk's latest project. However, Musk recently tweeted that he will be releasing more details about Neuralink within a week.
The idea of Neuralink was already on Musk's mind for quite some time. In fact, in 2016, during Vox Media's Code Conference, Musk talked about the possibility of successfully achieving a symbiosis between machines and humans.
Musk was also very critical during his talk, and the idea of neural lace is very important as it prevents anyone from becoming just a "house cat" when compared to artificial intelligence.
While in the conference, Musk added that possibly the best solution would be to have an AI layer but also having a third digital layer that allows a symbiotic relationship.
In January, Musk tweeted that he was preparing a major announcement regarding the neural lace.
Musk is not the only one who’s pursuing the idea of fusing humans and machines. According to some rumors, Facebook is also exploring and developing a similar technology in Building 8, a very secretive division of the company. However, Facebook is said to be working on a non-invasive medium that would allow communication between humans and external hardware.
Also, researchers from Duke and the University of California are developing a sort of brain-machine interface that would allow people with paraplegia to regain motor movements.
Musk is also in the process of creating a safety standard that would relate to the development of artificial intelligence. Musk is doing this through his nonprofit organization known as OpenAI, a company that he founded together with Sam Altman in 2015. The mission of OpenAI is to advance artificial intelligence in a way that it will benefit humans as a whole.
According to Musk, Neuralink's initial products may involve using implants as a way of treating brain disorders like major depression and epilepsy.