Elon Musk's latest target: Brain-computer interfaces

Elon Musk Hints at New Brain-Computer Project

The visionary billionaire who founded Hawthorne-based SpaceX and the Tesla electric vehicle brand will play a lead role in an artificial-intelligence startup called Neuralink, focusing on integrating the human brain with computers, according to reports. Using this technique humans can directly connect with technology instead of having a physical interface. "Neural lace" is the implanting of tiny electrodes to the brain for humans to be able to make computations directly.

Elsewhere in Silicon Valley, Facebook is reportedly working on a "computer interface" said to be capable of scanning users' brains. Today's medical technology still makes it very risky to operate on the human brain, and there's the small asterisk of volunteering yourself for doctors to poke around in your noggin. The report suggests that Elon Musk's product (Neuralink) could allow humans to achieve higher levels of cognitive function.

Musk, whose name is also associated with ambitious projects in space and electric cars, will be financing the Neuralink mostly by himself which could include capital borrowed from other ventures of his.

At the Code Conference a year ago, Musk said: "Something I think is going to be quite important... is a neural lace".

Musk's new plan is definitely bold and must be his boldest one so far.

. However, as Musk himself said, the objective of Neuralink is to counter the extreme advancements being made in the realm of artificial intelligence and now is the time to work toward countering that risky possibility.

These neural enhancements could offer augmented improved memory for users, or allow them to more directly interface with devices.

Musk has previously predicted that in a future dominated by artificial intelligence, a "merger of biological intelligence and machine intelligence" will be necessary, and humans are at risk of becoming "house cats" if steps aren't taken. Despite being in its early stages, The Guardian reports the company is listed as a "medical research" company and is focused on connecting brains to computers via "neural lace".

"Neuralink will develop advanced electrodes that can be attached or implanted within the brain, and this direct connection between the brain and electronics could allow direct stimulation of specific brain areas, which can be used for therapy for some neural disorders", Krewell told TechNewsWorld.