Are we there yet? Neuralink progress update next month could give us a deeper look into Elon Musk’s brain-computer

Elon Musk unveiled Neuralink back in July 2019 as a startup specialising in brain-computer interface (BCI). The premise is simple wherein numerous thin wires can be implanted in a brain to intercept signals being fired by a group of neurons. However, the presentation where Musk introduced the technology and talks about the possibilities is definitely exciting. Now, Elon Musk is gearing up to release new updates on the project. 

Neuralink progress update coming in August

In last year’s presentation, Elon Musk said that the first generation Neuralink devices would be used to treat brain diseases such as Parkinson’s, before allowing people to “ultimately achieve a sort of symbiosis with artificial intelligence.” The next update on where the company has reached in its milestone will come in August. 

Musk is known for cryptic tweets and he recently tweeted, “If you can’t beat em, join em, Neuralink mission statement.” This was followed by, “Progress update August 28” and “AI symbiosis while you wait.” The second tweet is straightforward and suggests that another briefing regarding Neuralink’s progress will happen on August 28. However, the first and third tweets are rather unique. 

Rather than reading too much into them, there’s a good possibility that the tweets are simply a play on words. Musk views AI as a threat to humanity if its development is left unchecked. So, “If you can’t beat em, join em” could simply mean ramping up our capabilities to match an AI’s, which is one of the things Neuralink aims to ultimately accomplish. 

What to expect

it’s not yet known what could be unveiled on August 28 at the next Neuralink progress. However, speculations and rumours making rounds on the internet are ranging from possible to sci-fi. Since Neuralink is yet to receive regulatory approval for human trials, we don’t expect to see the technology in action. 

A video of how the tech has been used in animals could be revealed since Musk previously said that a monkey was able to control a computer with his brain, thanks to Neuralink. But we will have to wait until the official announcements are made as this is merely speculation. 

Neuralink’s Brain Computer Interface uses thin wires that can be implanted in a brain to intercept neuron signals. Intercepting these signals could enable the company to understand and treat brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, and preserve and enhance brain function, and more. 

Musk has also made some futurist claims regarding Neuralink’s capabilities. One of them is making language obsolete within the next decade. “You wouldn’t need to talk…  we could still do it for sentimental reasons,” he said on the Joe Rogan Podcast. “You would be able to communicate very quickly and with far more precision… I’m not sure what would happen to language. In a situation like this it would kind of be like The Matrix. You want to speak a different language? No problem, just download the program.”

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