Elon Musk spends a lot of time warning people about the impacts of artificial intelligence (AI), but he is spending almost as much time working on his Neuralink program to implant chips in human brains.
Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, is reportedly working on a brain-computer interface (BCI). Essentially that would involve the planting of a chip inside the human skull, however, who it’s for remains a bit of a mystery.
Musk's only had one big public Neuralink announcement in 2016. However, at an event on 28 August, Musk promised that more information about Neuralink will be presented. Up next, we tell you about what we know so far.
Connecting Brain and Computer
The project's ultimate objective is to have a direct connection between a brain and a computer to surmount the AI power by using a "sewing machine" device to stitch threads for an implanted brain chip.
The major claim here is that keyboards and other peripherals aren't as powerful as a direct interface between thought and practice. With BCI, you could just think that you want to watch a movie and it would begin playing on your device.
The billionaire entrepreneur has often warned of the dangers of advanced AI, asserting it exhibits one of humanity's greatest existential threats.
Treating Physical and Mental Health Disorders
Neuralink has pivoted its message to highlight the benefits it would bring to medicine. Musk says the brain chip technology can be used to treat mental health problems like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, addiction, and anxiety.
The original aim of the implant was to cure brain injury and trauma but it may also be used to restore eyesight, hearing, and limb movement.
He has asserted that it will do anything from "solve" autism (autism is not a disease or illness, it cannot be treated or remedied) to stimulate the brain's pleasure centers.
According to Musk, the device would be implanted directly into the skull so that electrode threads could interconnect with other areas of the brain.
Controlling Hormone Levels
Elon Musk's Neuralink is presently creating a new function in its brain chip that will allow humans to select moods by manipulating hormone levels.
This is able to control the emotion and mood of a human being by generating waves that go beyond their normal or natural frequency and amplitude.
It can almost sound like a frightening hijacker of hormones that can potentially give you forced mental orgasms or make you fall in love.
He has also stated that the chip could regulate hormone levels which, among other things, would have the potential to alleviate anxiety. That innovation will help to reduce stress by modifying and controlling the levels of hormones in the brain.
Streaming Music in Your Head
Musk has recently said the brain chip technology of Neuralink will allow users to stream music seamlessly through their brains.
Last month, he verified the feature through an exchange with a Twitter user who asked, "If we implement Neuralink - can we listen to music directly from our chips? Great feature." Musk replied with a short "yes".
Neuralink is designing a brain chip that will provide computer access to the nervous system, hormone receptors, and other key neurological functions, according to Musk.
So far, the company has not committed to developing an invasive medical device for patients of neurology, or a non-invasive device for consumers.
In 2019, Musk said they had performed successful tests on mice and apes, and an update on technological improvements may be coming soon.