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Brief Published: 30 Mar 2017

Elon Musk's Neuralink to Connect Brains with Computers

Neuralink will connect humans with computers

SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk has this week launched Neuralink, a brain-computer interface company that aims to connect humans with computers by implanting tiny electrodes in the brain.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the start-up is creating a “neural lace technology” that’s being engineered to allow humans to communicate with technology without the need for an actual, physical interface. The start-up, which does not yet have a public site or branding, is set to bring the movement of transhumanism – the merging of biological and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance humanity’s capabilities – further towards commercial reality.  

While the tech could have applications ranging from healthcare to the workplace, Wired reports that the initial focus of the start-up “will be on using the described interface to help with the symptoms of chronic conditions, from epilepsy to depression”. Neuralink was registered in California as a “medical research” company last July, and the Journal reported that Musk plans to fund the company mostly by himself.

The launch follows Musk’s comments from the World Government Summit earlier this year in Dubai, where he warned that if humans want to continue to add value to the economy, they must augment their capabilities through a “merger of biological intelligence and machine intelligence”. If we fail to do this, we’ll risk becoming “house cats” to AI.

For more on how brands are leveraging technology and AI to boost human capability, see Tech for a Divided Society: DLD 2017.