Elon Musk on Tuesday revealed new details about Neuralink, his brain-computer interface company that first aims to help those with brain injuries and then protect humanity from AI. Dan and Axios' Kaveh Waddell discuss.
For 5 years, Elon Musk has been warning about apocalyptic runaway AI, calling it more dangerous than nukes. To stave off his feared future, in 2016 he launched Neuralink, a company to create cyborgs with the express mission of getting ahead of superhuman intelligence.
What's happening: Now, Musk says he has charted the long path to merging man and machine. In an elaborate presentation Tuesday night, he said his company has installed brain–computer links in rats and monkeys and aims to put them inside human skulls next year.
Connecting brains directly to machines has helped paralyzed people begin to speak and amputees feed themselves again — early steps toward the miraculous cures that have been the main focus of the neurotechnology field.
But a smaller group of researchers and startups — plus the Pentagon — is working toward an even longer-term goal fraught with scientific and moral hurdles. They plan to improve on healthy humans, in a bid to pick up where evolution left off.
Two parallel quests to understand learning — in machines and in our own heads — are converging in a small group of scientists who think that artificial intelligence may holdan answer to the deep-rooted mystery of how our brains learn.
Why it matters: If machines and animals do learn in similar ways — still an open question among researchers — figuring out how could simultaneously help neuroscientists unravel the mechanics of knowledge or addiction, and help computer scientists build much more capable AI.