A few days back I had written a post about Neuralink, Elon Musk's neurotechnology company that has reportedly been working on some cutting edge stuff that will ultimately fulfill Elon's dream of merging humans with AI.
On 16th of July, they hosted an event to provide an update about their work for the last couple of years and it seems like they are really working on some futuristic technologies that is in fact orders of magnitude better than what anyone thinks is possible, just as Elon had promised.
At the event, Elon and some members of the Neuralink team spoke about the various aspects of such a technology and explained in depth about some of the more technical aspects of how the technology works.
Road To Cyborgs?
The main goal of Neuralink at this point is to understand and treat brain disorders and that'll kind of serve as the proof of concept for linking our brains to computers. From there on, the company will look to achieve its other goals of preserving and enhancing our brains as well as creating a well-aligned future between humanity and AI.
As Elon has stated on multiple occasions in the past, the ultimate goal here is to achieve a symbiosis with AI, which basically means that we will be adding a "superintelligence" layer on top of our brains to stay relevant in the future. Of course this wouldn't be mandatory and anyone can choose to have this done.
Also, Musk stated that all of this is not going to happen suddenly. There needs to be a lot of developments, trials, regulatory approvals, testings and much more. All of this will take a long time, perhaps in the timeframe of decades. Currently they are planning human trials in 2020.
At the event, they unveiled a device that can be implanted in the brain that lets it read as well as write information to and from the brain. It involves very thin threads (a tenth of the cross section of a hair) that are planted near neurons in the brain that are then connected to an external device that can sit comfortably behind one's ear.
The procedure to get an implant would require a small surgery that would be perfomed by a state of the art robot (which they designed too). According to Elon, we wouldn't 'feel a thing' during the procedure.
The applications for such a device are practically endless and it would essentially make us cyborgs. We would be super-intelligent, we will have access to any information directly in the brain, we could even possibly upload skills to the brain or reduce the number of hours it takes to learn one, many brain disorders would be solved, and a lot more. It really seems like Neuralink and the team has kickstarted the cyborg human future.