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Shane Savitsky Mar 27, 2017
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Elon Musk wants to computerize your brain

OnInnovation / Flickr Creative Commons

Elon Musk has launched and "may play a significant leadership role" in a new company called Neuralink, an attempt to realize Musk's idea of "neural lace" — implanted electrodes in the brain — that might one day allow humans to reach higher levels of cognitive function, per the WSJ.

  • The "medical research" company would likely have a two-step strategy, first pursuing implants to treat brain disorders while proving the safety of its technology before moving onto elective implants to boost brainpower.
  • Musk said that he believes humanity is "four or five years" away from this type of technology in a Vanity Fair profile.
  • Musk sees artificial intelligence as our "biggest existential threat" and views the cognitive improvements of neural lace as a way for humanity to fight back against "artificial intelligence-enhanced robots capable of destroying mankind."

Why it matters: Musk is known for pushing the envelope in just about every area of emerging technologies, from space travel and electric cars to high-speed trains and, now, adding advanced artificial intelligence into the mix. Taking a leadership role in yet another ahead-of-its-time venture will likely raise questions about Musk's ability to run the complex businesses — but he's proven doubters wrong before.