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article imageIs Elon Musk planning to link your brain to AI?

By Tim Sandle     Mar 29, 2017 in Technology
Elon Musk, the man heading up SpaceX and Tesla, could be launching a new project with the aim of producing an implantable computer-brain interface device. This will be under a new company called Neuralink Corp.
Little is known about the new venture, but several tech sites (such as QMed) are speculating that the project is aiming to link artificial intelligence with the human brain, via some form of an implantable chip. One concept might be to help humans connect with computer software as part of a new generation of artificial intelligence devices. What this technology might be used for is open to speculation. Artificial intelligence projects underway by other companies include deep brain stimulation devices designed to address the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases.
Further details about the new venture are provided by the Wall Street Journal which discusses the founding of Neuralink Corp. The new Elon Musk led company is established as a medical research company based in California. A website has been set-up but this only refers to a job-link and email address.
READ MORE: Why Elon Musk wants to start beaming the Internet from space
On social media the presence of the company is stronger. Musk himself has tweeted: “Long Neuralink piece coming out on @waitbutwhy in about a week. Difficult to dedicate the time, but existential risk is too high not to.” Musk has also provided some details to a blog called “Wait But Why” by technology writer Tim Urban.
The Brainprint system creates  unhackable  brain scans to replace passwords
The Brainprint system creates 'unhackable' brain scans to replace passwords
Jonathan Cohen / Binghamton University
A brain–computer interface (or mind-machine interface) refers to a direct communication pathway between an enhanced or wired brain and an external device. The potential functionality includes researching, mapping, augmenting, or repairing human cognitive functions. The idea moved from something in science fiction to a plausible reality during the 1980s. Breakthroughs to date have centered on neuroprosthetic devices.
Today the main research focus of brain–computer interfaces, and the area which Elon Musk might be focusing on, is with the restoration of functions in people who have become disabled as a result of neuromuscular disorders. This includes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, and spinal cord injury. Should technology advance, and if Neuralink Corp. become one of the pioneers, the prospects for advancing medical science through computer-brain interfaces becomes ever nearer.
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