In May of this year, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the development of his futuristic Neuralink is almost complete. Neuralink is meant to act as a bridge, providing a “direct cortical interface” between the human brain and computers.
Why? To allow humans to reach a higher plane of cognition while also allowing us to compete with the Artificial Intelligence (AI) that Musk fears will one day become our immortal overlords.
The needle-like device which the Neuralink consists of would be inserted into a user’s skull to allow the connection to take place. This bendable polymer electrode can read the brain’s electrical signals and potentially translate then for interface with a machine. Musk believes that the Neuralink will allow humans to process data “at the speed of thought”, instead of being slowed down by the delays normally associated with our physical senses.
Obviously, security will be a huge issue that needs to be addressed before such a product is even released. People need to know with certainty that the data relayed between their brains and computers is protected and that the other systems they connect to are trustworthy. After all, there is a huge potential for abuse in this situation, and the stakes are much higher when it comes to someone’s innermost thoughts.
So far, Musk’s interface technology has been handled with extreme secrecy, and not a lot of details about it are known at this time. Human trials are probably a long ways into the future. Let us hope that Musk’s mysterious neurotech startup releases more juicy details soon.