“… brain-machine interface technology.” The Verge


"Elon Musk has said that his secretive neurotech firm Neuralink will demonstrate a working “device,” presumably a brain-machine interface, at 6PM ET on Friday. Musk has spoken repeatedly about his belief that BMI devices are needed to help humans keep up with AI by supplementing our brainpower, but right now, his goal is much simpler: to create an implantable device that lets people control phones or computers with their mind.

Musk initially announced the August 28th “progress update” back in July, and has now offered more details on what will be shown. He says the update will include the unveiling of a second-generation robot designed to attach the company’s technology to the brain, and a demo of neurons “firing in real-time,” though it’s not clear exactly what is meant by this."  The Verge


In Musk's vision man and machine will someday speak to each other directly.  This would truly be  a "brave, new world."  pl


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17 Responses to “… brain-machine interface technology.” The Verge

  1. Oilman2 says:

    So an interface into the brain – with filament wires…
    I can’t help but view this as essentially an antenna wired into a brain. What happens in the event of a lightning strike nearby? A solar flare maybe? Or just some, ahem, technologically savvy government sending out strong jamming? Would this not concentrate nearby EMF and leak into the brain?
    Just wondering – as I am too old to even contemplate this actually becoming reality…

  2. Jack says:

    What I find fascinating about Elon and other entrepreneurs like him, is the imagination and drive to execute multiple high risk development projects simultaneously.
    Elon’s Tesla is now worth more than all automakers combined ex. Toyota. Think about it – worth more than Ford, GM, Fiat Chrysler, BMW, Daimler, VW Group that includes Audi & Porsche, Renault, Nissan-Mitsubishi, etc. combined. Meaning he could buy several of these companies if he wants.
    Then there’s SpaceX that has beat out big contractors like Boeing & Lockheed Martin to win NASA contracts for launch and crew vehicles. SpaceX is also doing StarLink to compete with the big telcos for ubiquitous internet connectivity and the services that can be delivered over those pipes.
    This pace of technological innovation driven by entrepreneurs like Elon Musk in the US is unmatched in the world.

  3. Diana Croissant says:

    I was never in favor of psychotropic drugs and certainly won’t agree to electronic rewiring of my brain just to make it easier to use a phone or computer.
    Again, I prefer to “deliberate” lifestyle that Thorou was able to live for a while at Walden Pond.

  4. Everything Musk does has a Mars/space angle to it. Interfacing with a computer through your mind with ai to assist would make spacecraft design/control much easier. The military application would also be insane when you add drone swarms in the mix. Mars is the god of war..

  5. JJackson says:

    It is the logical next step for human evolution. Our brains have a lot of spare capacity but getting information has always been a bottleneck. Originally only oral story telling (short lived and mutable) then written words but very slow to write at book length and only available to one reader at a time. The printing press made multiple copies and reached a bigger audience but the majority of information was only available to a few and you needed to know where to look. Now there is a vast quantity of information, for very little cost, and the search engines make it possible to find answers to questions that would have taken weeks in a University library in seconds.
    With each step knowledge spreads to more people but we can not retain it all, things I once new are now forgotten but with access to the internet, and all things connected to it, as an extension of memory most are easily retrieved. I am waiting for Musk to say when he thinks I will be able to think back, what I know today, to cloud storage so I can reload or search it. If you spend some time in a foreign country and learn the language it would be nice, 50 years later, to go back and be as fluent as you were the day you left.
    I want one if he can make it a simple worn item or be accesses remotely – not keen on any embedded hardware.

  6. Leith says:

    Popular Science magazine ran an article on BMI a dozen or so years ago back when it was first used for paralytics. IIRC the dubbed it “brain puppetry”!

  7. walrus says:

    We already have an electronic. implant into the brain. Cochlear inc.has had an implant for the deaf for thirty years. I could have bought the stock for $3. 🙁
    So the physical technology is pretty well understood. I am intrigued by Elon.

  8. Peter in Toronto says:

    Technology is merely an excretion of human activity, and thus can be seen as a mere byproduct of our biology. No different than a snail forming a mineralized shell from its carapace.

  9. David J. says:

    There are some interesting podcasts by Dr. James Giordano on neurocognitive enhancement and weaponizing brain science.

  10. EEngineer says:

    Elon Musk’s success has more to do with the fact that most larger companies suffer from terminal atrophy once they get to a certain size. The bureaucracy simply takes over at some point when the original brains retire or they can no longer manage the sprawling organization. Space has primarily the domain of defense contractors for decades. They are worst case of this monopoly enabled laziness.
    Recent advances in CAD tools more than anything else have enabled small teams of experienced engineers to design remarkable things that would have taken literally an army of engineers, draftsmen, and technicians to accomplish just a generation ago.

  11. zm says:

    Brain-machine interface would not help us keep with AI. It would however make it much easier for AI to control us, since it would now have an interface to do so.

  12. Barbara Ann says:

    The above described technology could be a godsend for paralytics, but I would guess dear Elon’s plan is for a much broader application. Has he conducted market research indicating that controlling one’s Tesla via brainwaves would be a hit? Direct conversation with our gadgets is an interesting possibility, but in which direction will the instructions go Elon? Personally I have no desire to turn myself into a cyborg and will steer clear of any technology that does not have a very prominent “off” switch.
    Peter in Toronto
    On one level you are correct about our technological excretions, but even a snail’s limited intellect is not surpassed by its shell.
    The uses Man finds for his technology are mixed, to say the least, and in any case I am more concerned with the soon-to-be-upon us scenario of our technology considering what uses (if any) it has for us. Perhaps our future is to be all watched over by machines of loving grace. But it is surely a giant leap of faith to assume that an AI Deus ex machina will agree with its dumb compostable creators’ set of priorities.

  13. optimax says:

    Will some teenager be able to hack your brain? Instead of stealing your car steal your body, your mind? This pipeline straight to your mind is the perfection of brainwashing. Not for me thank you. I would rather live with wolves than brain chipped humans. The cultural Marxist brainwashed Portlanders are intolerable enough.

  14. Mark K Logan says:

    Seems the grand plan is much more than machine interface, it’s a “Wizard Hat” that enables direct exchanging of thoughts. Elon assures that shared thoughts could be managed, there would be no loss if individuality. He is apparently aware nobody wants to share consciousness. How people would share thoughts but only certain thoughts is, of course, unsaid.
    I suppose groups of individuals might dedicate themselves to forming a collective consciousness…it would take tremendous disciple but it could happen. There would be advantages, collective consciousness may very well be superior…. 😉

  15. jonboinAR says:

    What did Shakespeare mean by “Brave”? “Totally cool”? Rad? (Meant ironically, I imagine.)

  16. jerseycityjoan says:

    I am glad that I will never be hooked up to a machine. If we can’t provide security for online voting or keep hackers away from our data, we had better keep our brains away from the machines.
    But there are certain handicapped people that could be helped by this kind of device. I am sure research will continue in this area for that reason alone. This is the kind of thing that would be hard to limit once people started with it, though. Just look at how people’s smartphones have taken them over.

  17. Mathias Alexander says:

    It sounds like Hell.

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