Musk: I Want to Link Brains to Computers in 4 Years

SpaceX CEO's new Neuralink firm would initially do this to help brain-injured humans
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2017 2:00 PM CDT
Musk: I Want to Link Brains to Computers in 4 Years
In this Dec. 14, 2016, file photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk listens as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Elon Musk might be somewhat skittish at the prospect of artificial intelligence (or at least at its more nefarious potential), but that hasn't curbed his latest goal: merging human brains with computers by the time we reach the next presidential inauguration, Reuters reports. In what TechCrunch calls "the most science fictional of all three of his ventures," the Tesla and SpaceX CEO discussed his new company Neuralink with Tim Urban of the Wait but Why blog, who comments on the "mind-bending bigness" of the firm's mission. That mission—which TechCrunch notes may irk some investors, as Musk has confirmed he'll spread himself a little thinner and take the CEO helm for Neuralink, too—is to get a technology to market in four years' time that would create a high-bandwidth link between machines and severely injured human brains (injuries caused by strokes or cancer lesions, for example).

TechCrunch explains that Musk's literal brainchild would streamline communications between people by allowing for "uncompressed" signals to pass back and forth, rather than the current way we "compress" our thoughts into language, which the recipient then must "decompress." You'll need a large cup of coffee and a block of free time to get through Urban's lengthy post about Musk's "wizard hat," but Urban implores people to "wipe your brain clean of what it thinks it knows about itself and its future" and "jump into the vortex" with him. "I knew the future would be nuts but this is a whole other level," Urban tweeted Thursday while promoting his story. (More Elon Musk stories.)

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