The ambitious wonderboy is at it again

Elon Musk isn’t a bad guy. He can be arrogant at times (can’t we all?) but he’s made huge strides in battery technology, autonomous driving technology, and even getting big hunks of metal (that may eventually carry us to Mars) into space. You would think that a man like Musk, who’s splitting his time between companies like SpaceX and Tesla, would have a full plate, but apparently, his plate isn’t full enough as he has announced a new venture that seeks to interface our brains with computers. The company, which is in the very early stages of creation is called “Neuralink” and looks to implant tiny electrodes in our brains to allow us to connect directly to computers.

The crazy thing is that the whole thing has been pretty well thought out, and has been a concept routinely explored in science fiction as well. If this new company is successful, it would be able to make a direct cortical interface between man and computer, ultimately allowing our thoughts and maybe even memories to be downloaded to a computer, or allow us to control a computer without using anything but our minds. Eventually, the technology could even be used to increase cognitive capabilities that allow us to increase our intelligence and memory. It’s like adding RAM to a computer, really. It might sound a little outlandish but, believe it or not, it’s actually a feasible idea. After all, the human brain is considered to be the most advanced computer in existence thus far, right?

Keep reading for the rest of the story

The Good…. And the Bad….

So, Musk is highly ambitious and, given the amount of dedication he’s given to his other ventures, this one could actually go somewhere. Initially, the company will dedicate its efforts toward building technology that could tackle things like epilepsy, depression, and Parkinson’s disease. Later on, the company could focus on hybridizing the human brain. And, it’s not all about money to Musk. See, he believes, as does members of the advanced scientific community (think Stephen Hawking, for instance) that computers could eventually go all Terminator on us and wipe out our civilization once it reaches a certain point. The idea of this venture, in the long term, is to prevent that from happening. If the human brain is able to directly counter any potential “attack” from artificial intelligence, then maybe we won’t have to worry about advanced robots trying to take us out.

But, what about the bad?

Maybe it’s the science fiction geek in me, but this is a scary thought too. I keep getting flashes of a Star Trek episode where members of a ship’s crew were enslaved and linked to a central computer system to provide more computing power. And, couldn’t that be how the Borg got their start too – hybridizing humans and creating a central mind? And, what about what it will do to humans who are already cutting themselves out of the social world thanks to technology? Will this kind of technology lead to a future where we never leave home because we can live life digitally thanks to our link to the rest of the world? And, for those conspiracy theorists out there… just think about how easy big brother will be able to tap into you and monitor your thoughts. Just saying, all of this could potentially be possible as well.

I certainly don’t hate the idea, but I’m not sure I’m ready to tie my mind into the rest of the world. It’s already near impossible to not interact with technology as it is. But, if the technology developed could be used to combat mental illnesses and help someone live a normal life, then I’m all for it. I’m just not sure we need superhuman walking the earth quite yet. If you think that hackers today are scary, stealing your financial information and identity, just think about what happens when you’re chipped up, and they can hack your mind – maybe even control you. Perhaps Musk should work on security protocols first.

What do you think? Is it possible, is it a good idea? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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