Neuralink is currently working on “computer-brain interfaces” that would “help humans keep pace with advanced artificial intelligence,” TechCrunch writes. Gossamer-thin wires (thinner than human hair) are implanted into the brain. The wires are then connected to an external computer, though the end goal is to be able to establish a wireless connection.
Last year, Musk said that they had conducted successful experiments on mice and apes, and he plans to share a technology progress update on Aug. 28. But prior to that date, the Tesla CEO has been teasing information about the project on Twitter.
Earlier this month, when computer programmer Austin Howard asked Musk, “If we implement neuralink – can we listen to music directly from our chips?” Musk responded, “Yes.”
Music streaming isn’t Neuralink’s only focus. Musk hopes the brain chip technology can be used to treat mental health issues like depression, addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder, and anxiety.
He also ultimately hopes to merge humans with AI. Musk tweeted a Neuralink job posting on Twitter, seeking candidates who have experience in phones and wearables. “This would solve a lot of brain/spine injuries & is ultimately essential for AI symbiosis,” he wrote.
In May, Musk appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast, saying a version of the implant could potentially be tested on humans “within a year.”
“There's still a lot of work to do,” Musk told Rogan. “So when I say, you know, we've probably got a shot at putting it in a person, you know, within a year. I think, that's exactly what I mean, I think we have a chance of putting input in one end, having them be healthy, and restoring some functionality that they've lost.”
The implant’s initial goal was to treat brain injury and trauma, but it could also possibly be used to restore eyesight, hearing, and limb movement. Musk founded Neuralink in 2016 as a neural technology company.
“[The chip] could, in principle, fix anything that's wrong with the brain,” Musk said.