Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla has taken the first major step in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology by launching a startup called Neuralink. The startup company will focus on technologies that can integrate the human brain with computers. Until now, this is a concept reserved for the science fiction movies. It won’t be the case anymore if Neuralink develops state-of-the-art AI technology. Musk plans on revealing new plans for Neuralink in the next week. Currently, it is in an embryonic stage with a mission to integrate embedded electrodes to make brains more efficient. The company was registered in California as a medical research company.
When devices are created to implant in the human brain, it can help the human beings to easily merge with the latest AI software which could improve brain’s performance. One of the possibilities of this technology is improved memory and it could be useful in enhancing brain’s functions at various levels.
The integration between the human brain and digital computers can be utilized by the medical industry. Currently, electrode arrays and similar implants are successfully used to rearrange the adverse effects of various neurodegenerative diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s and others. Only a handful of people has complicated implants in their skulls. Invasive operations on human brains are extremely dangerous and patients are willing to sign up only if they have no other option to consider.
The Silicon Valley continues to encourage futuristic ideas from some of the great minds in the industry. Bryan Johnson, co-founder of Braintree has started Kernel which focuses on human cognition abilities. Kernel employs numerous software engineers and neuroscientists to work on reversing the harmful effects of neurodegenerative diseases. Neuralink has also hired several researchers and experts in the neuroscience industry.
Before any viable device is created, the AI companies should invest a huge amount of money and time in medical researches to understand the functions of the human brain. Even with a vast study on the brain, humans know very little about the neurons and their actual functionality. New surgical techniques have to be invented to implant complex devices that have the capability to alter the functionality of the brain.
Even if the development is successful, testing human brain and digital computer integration is going to be another great challenge. A healthy human being won’t be interested in allowing invasive devices to play their games on their brain. AI industry has grown rapidly in the past 10 years and the growth is accelerating.
Elon Musk doesn’t hesitate to warn about the risks of indulging more in AI. He suggested taking measures to colonize Mars so that human beings could escape to it when a rogue AI robot brings the end of the world. Musk wants international regulatory oversight for AI devices because he doesn’t want anything foolish to be developed. Even though investors are excited about Musk’s new venture, they are also worried that he won’t have enough time to focus on SpaceX, Tesla, and Neuralink with his first two companies already facing several challenges.