Musk parades ‘hair-brained’ scheme for human interaction with AI

Musk parades ‘hair-brained’ scheme for human interaction with AI

1 Min Read

by Ken Wieland

19 July 2019

LONDON -- Human brains hooked up to computers and AI. This was the vision that tech entrepreneur Elon Musk presented at an event in San Francisco as he gave an update on what neurotechnology start-up Neuralink has been up to over the last two years.

Backed by Musk,Neuralink has kept a low profile since it was founded in 2017. The unveiling ofpolymer threads a hundred times thinner than a human hair, which can be drilledinto the skull by a special robotic machine and connect to a tiny processorimplanted into the brain, is the start-up’s first major announcement. Thesethreads, said Musk, are designed to link a human brain wirelessly toa computer or even smartphone. Tests are already underway, apparently, usingrats.

Related: Elon Musk Details His Vision for Neuralink

The chip will help “preserve and enhanceyour own brain”, said Musk, “and ultimately achieve a sort of symbiosis withartificial intelligence”.

One of the big problemsof interacting with AI, added Musk, was bandwidth. His aim is to enable humansto more quickly communicate with machines directly from their brains.

Among the firstpossible applications is to assist paraplegic people using their smartphone orcomputer, or to treat epilepsy and even Parkinson’s disease. Another idea is toprovide “rich visual feedback to the blind”.

Neuralink’s first human clinical trials are expected fornext year, but the idea of having afully working neuralinterface that connects computers to the brain -- a “merger with AI” as Musklikes to put it -- is still a long way off.

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