Updated: Jan 16, 2020
If there’s one person I could expect at some time in the future to hop on a spaceship in front of a crowd and say, “Well… it’s been real.” and then suddenly fly off into outer space back to his home planet that would have to be Elon Musk. It could be argued there are few people on this earth at this time involved in more enterprises that are fundamentally changing the course of humanities’ future than this man.
Elon’s latest venture is with company Neuralink. The company has created a technology that hopes to merge AI technology with the human brain. Although the technology is limited in its current application, it’s initial development will hopefully allow quadriplegics to click buttons unassisted on computer screens with the power of the mind.
For everyone else it will mean removing the hassle of turning on your phone and swiping with your finger like some kind of primitive cave man.
I can image inspiration came to Elon as he sat in his Tesla Roadster as it drove him to work, smoking a massive blunt. Suddenly, an idea pops into his head solving the problem to our eventual obsolescence and eradication by robots that has plagued him for months, if you can’t beat em’ join em’! And as such, like Tony Stark inventing time travel on his spare weekend up at the cabin, makes it reality through money, mind and will.
The procedure for this implant is essentially a high tech robot Singer sewing machine that stiches neural threads directly into your brain and are connected at the end by a usb-c connection.
During Neuralink's presentation launch a surgeon came out on stage to explain the procedure, (how’d I know he’s a surgeon you ask? Well, because he was wearing scrubs, duh…) What I loved about his description about the procedure was not so much all the in depth information about the robots accuracy at stitching tech into your head, it was the gloss over of how the robot gets access to your brain from that annoying thing that gets in the way, your skull.
It was very much a moment I really would have appreciated the surgeon doing a cough through “we’ll have to drill into your skull of course”, or, “we’ll burn a hole in your skull with a laser to get to that sweet, juicy sponge of yours”.
I disagree that the technology lasts over a decade. When this becomes a thing (human trials start next year), can you imagine with the development of technology that people who can afford it will have that tech in their heads for over 10 years? Can you image having something the equivalent of an iPhone 3G in your head when other people are walking around interfacing with an iPhone 10X. Upgrades for life.
Whatever you think of the technology there’s no denying this launch, innocuous and understated as it was, is a seismic shift of humanity towards merging with robots and AI.