Elon Musk Wants Recruits to Build a Brain-Computer Interface

洪健翔 Hung, Chien-hsiang
3 min readSep 24, 2020
Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

Elon Musk Wants Recruits to Build a Brain-Computer Interface

Elon Musk’s startup company, Neuralink, wants to one day implant computer chips inside the human brain. The goal is to develop implants that can treat brain disorders — and that may one day be powerful enough to allow humanity to compete with possible future superintelligent computers.

In a video demonstration aimed at recruiting new employees, Musk showed off a prototype of the device. About the size of a large coin, it’s designed to be implanted in a person’s skull, with ultra-thin wires going directly into the brain.

But the startup is far from having a commercial product, which would involve complex human trials and government approval, among many other things. Musk’s demonstration featured one pig with a Neuralink implant.

Musk, a founder of both the electric car company Tesla Motors and the private space-exploration firm SpaceX, has often warned about the threat that artificial intelligence might one day pose to the human race.

The proposed solution? Link computers to our brains so we can keep up.

Musk urged programmers, engineers and people with experience making commercial products to apply to Neuralink. “You don’t need to have brain experience,” he said, adding that this is something that can be learned on the job.

Hooking a brain up directly to electronics is not new. Doctors already implant electrodes in brains to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and chronic pain. In experiments, implanted sensors have also let paralyzed people use brain signals to operate computers and move robotic arms.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Neuralink wants to build on those medical treatments and one day work on surgeries that could improve brain function.

There are endless applications to brain-computer interfaces, from playing games to connecting to devices — like your Tesla car. But Neuralink first wants to use the device with people who have severe spinal cord injuries to help them talk, type and move using their brain waves.

“I am confident that long term it would be possible to restore someone’s full-body motion,” Musk said.

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash

It’s truly exciting to see this happening. The father of Tesla, Musk, always leads the trends, creates the waves. Now, with this brand new idea, he’s going to open another biotech chapter. We can all expect there will be no man who can’t move or should be taken care of their life in a period of time.

But as we have mentioned above, superintelligent computers might one day pose a threat to the human race. Could we depend on Neuralink against that? And how? That would be a question we need to address beforehand in the future. And by taking this question into the spotlight, it’s not only a challenge of Neurolink should be facing but also needs all of Musk’s effort with public wisdom to conquer.

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