The basis behind Neuralink’s foundation, and its ultimate goal, is the belief for a need for human augmentation (sometimes referred to as transhumanism). This aims to keep up with the increasingly entrenched Dataist interpretation of humankind, and the advent of increasingly complex algorithms – and even AI – throughout the sphere of our lives. Apart from showing off a working Neuralink prototype, which will supposedly demonstrate the ability to “fire neurons in real time”, the company is unveiling a second-generation robot for sewing the threads into the brain. The objective is to develop flexible threads that circumvent currently-employed rigid threads in BMI interfaces, which always run the risk of damaging the brain. Eventually, this surgery will be non-invasive – an objective example is the workings of LASIK eye surgery. Being a Musk-backed project, lofty claims and unrealistic deadlines are aplenty; the company first expected to start human trials by the end of this year. For now, no more information on that milestone has been shared.
In-between the brain disease treatment and the human augmentation starts and ends of the plans for this technology is the aim to allow Neuralink-implanted human beings to connect to a processing aide – be it a computer or a smartphone. Imagine offloading information to your chosen device – backing-up real-time inputs from your senses – or being able to run on-the-fly Google or database searches. Imagine perfect memory, or the ability to write TPU news articles only by thinking of the content, instead of having to find a comfortable computer to work on. Imagine the benefits – and dangers – of perfect recall for every memory you’ve ever had. What do you think? Scary, or inspiring?