Created in 2016 by Elon Musk and other founding members, Neuralink is a startup focused on the development of implantable brain-computer interfaces (BCIs).
In a Wait But Why blog, Neuralink reported that the company’s short-term goal is to treat serious brain diseases.
The long-term goal is human enhancement or “symbiosis with artificial intelligence,” also called transhumanism.
Musk has noted that he got interested in a brain-computer interface from the idea of “neural lace” from the science fiction book series The Culture by Iain M. Banks. Neuro lace is defined by Musk as a “digital layer above the cortex” that would ideally implant though a vein or artery.
Musk has now revealed that the Neuralink startup is close to announcing the first ever brain-machine interface connecting humans and computers.
The announcement came via Twitter to tell followers that the technology would be “coming soon,” although details were lacking.
The startup’s website describes the futuristic technology as an “ultra-high bandwidth” connection between human brains and computers.
Musk’s interest in the project comes as no surprise, as he has often claimed that the rapid rise of artificial intelligence poses an existential risk to humans.
He believes that an interface, such as the one Neuralink is working on, is the only way humans will be able to compete with advanced technology in the future.
For example, at a 2016 technology conference, Musk said that humans risk being treated like house pets by AI machines if a brain-computer interface is not built.
He said, “I don’t love the idea of being a house cat, but what’s the solution? I think one of the solutions that seems maybe the best is to add an AI layer.”
The world waits as news of an advanced brain-computer link is “coming soon.”