Neuralink will provide an update on their brain interface work in August and the expectation is that there will be progress on initial human trials. Elon Musk recently tweeted that the system could feed music directly into the brain.
Neuralink last reported in 2019, that it had a sewing machine-like device capable of implanting thousands of 4 to 6 micron in wide threads into the brain. They demonstrated reading information from a lab rat using 1,500 electrodes and anticipated to start experiments with humans in 2020.
Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) should restore sensory and motor function and the treatment of neurological disorders. Neuralink is progressing to a scalable high-bandwidth BMI system. The 2019 system has arrays of small and flexible electrode threads which can scale to 3,072 electrodes per array distributed across 96 threads. There is a neurosurgical robot capable of inserting six threads (192 electrodes) per minute.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 19, 2020
If we implement neuralink – can we listen to music directly from our chips? Great feature. https://t.co/RwVLnS5JbL
— Austin Howard (@a_howard8) July 19, 2020
SOURCES – Neuralink
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.
46 thoughts on “Neuralink Will Update on Getting to Human Trials on Brain Interfaces”
That’s the whole point lol. Matrix.
Oh it always starts with something like compensating for a medical problem.
Anabolic steroids? Started to compensate for people with hormone deficiencies.
Plastic surgery? Started to repair people badly injured with disfiguring scars.
Cooking food? Started to make it soft for children and old people who couldn’t chew raw meat the way a healthy adult could.
You are working with a definition of “ads” that appears to ignore “political ads”.
There is no real difference between your brain subtly reminding you of the latest cocacola jingle, and the latest “Coke party” election slogan.
All that is the tip of the iceberg of what’s going to be exposed by Neuralink! Looks like humanity has to learn the hard way!
“If technology isn’t equal or better than the flesh it is meant to replace, it isn’t worth the hassle.”
Kulaks don’t get a vote.
“subtly rewire the target brain during the sleep”
Its the only way to make sure everyone knows that we’ve always been at war with eastasia.
I don’t think it isn’t insertion. I.e. I do think it’s insertion either way. See the btw in my other reply to Brett.
The difference between bare facts and understanding is what gets loaded into your short-term memory when you recall that “knowledge”. Understanding won’t get you anywhere until it’s loaded into short-term memory.
Beyond that, it makes little difference if it’s loaded from inside your brain, or from outside of it.
As always, the devil is in the implementation details.
“I was thinking more along the lines of a glorified Google search, rather than unsolicited insertion.”
That’s positively adorable how you think a Google search isn’t insertion. You know you should sell your .com stocks soon because in your time the internet is in a stock bubble.
“Imagine what China would openly do with this kind of technology.”
At last true communism will be tried!
Or just giving AGI a convenient API to deallocate us when we aren’t needed.
Knowledge is not a faster internet connection. To confuse the two is very millennial.
I guess to help you out I would propose that you contemplate the difference between “facts” and “understanding”.
From what I’ve heard of China and North Korea, they don’t need BMIs to do that. As I recall, ISIS fit that description too.
Yeah, but if it only goes in your short-term memory, maybe that’s not too bad. I don’t know.. Not much different from current unsolicited propaganda.
Btw, “a device that could insert ‘knowledge’ (beliefs) into my brain without my critical faculties having any say in the matter” is called a smartphone. Way too many people not using their critical faculties even when they have the option to.
If you can insert it solicited, you can insert it unsolicited.
Yes, this technology still is too primitive and cumbersome to bother with it.
The only potential uses where people would actually want this are for medical reasons, for example to overcome some disability.
If technology isn’t equal or better than the flesh it is meant to replace, it isn’t worth the hassle.
Or a fanatic, visceral love for the Most Esteemed Leader and a murderous hate for dissidents and pro-democracy protesters.
I was thinking more along the lines of a glorified Google search, rather than unsolicited insertion. It would work pretty much the same as it does today, just skipping the typing and reading parts – which would make the whole process much quicker and more efficient.
You can get away with a lot by just loading stuff into short term memory:
“I have this complex problem, how do I approach it?” Loading…
“Hmm, ok. I remember the key theory behind it. But I need more details on this particular aspect.” Loading…
“Aha. So I need to solve this differential equation. How do I do that?” Loading…
“Ok, I remember now. Let’s do this.”
You’d still need to trust or verify the source, but you can say the same about today’s searches.
No, the real threat isn’t annoying ads, it’s changing your ideology. The guy running the ads just wants a bit of your money, he’s happy to offer a “premium” ad-free service for a fee. The guy who wants to change your politics doesn’t want your money, he wants your heart and mind.
Imagine what China would openly do with this kind of technology. Facebook would do the same covertly…
I’d be happy with something that could move knowledge I already had from the tip of my tongue to someplace I could use it. I’d be more than a bit worried about a device that could insert ‘knowledge” (beliefs) into my brain without my critical faculties having any say in the matter. You’d have to be VERY sure that the source of that ‘knowledge’ was to be trusted.
You do not transmit ads, you subtly rewire the target brain during the sleep so they end up loving pepsi and hate cocacola
While also preventing people from talking and posting about it?
After all, if it gets a bad rep, people won’t install it. You’d have to wait for everyone to have it installed first, and then switch on the ads. But by that point, the world would be so radically transformed, the ads may not be relevant anymore. Or if they still are, they may be the least of your worries.
IMO, the real killer app would be cognitive and knowledge enhancement. But even that is only a small part of the implications of a mature BMI technology. https://waitbutwhy.com/2017/04/neuralink.html
So every 7 years or so they bring out a new interface protocol and you need another brain operation or you can’t use any of the new products. Backwards compatibility is for the sort of losers who would use a linux product in their brain.
This is the real threat.
This is just version 0.001. Kind of like Falcon 1 vs his Mars goals. The long-term goal here is giving us the tools to compete with AGI.
I assume you mean that the government would start piping Isaac Hayes music into everyone between 18 and 35 every night, thus engineering a baby boom beyond all historical precedents.
Wire addiction is just a beta version of a tasp.
Yup and he’s science lead too so he’s wearing a mask.
The hand that is not employed in giving alms.
Wait till your wired brain gets EMP’d.
something like the matrix I’d like a personal encounter with the woman in red.
Wire addicts are coming.
I’m thinking… I’m gonna let someone else try this first.
Have the same problem for laser eye surgery. I’ve only got one set of eyes, and a mistake with glasses is a lot easier to correct than a mistake with a laser.
Plugging something into my brain? Yeah, that seems kinda worse to me…
Better use nanobots. Sewing the brain? No, thanks.
Just music? Better study the brain for an Upload.
This is a really effective torture device…can you imagine having Barry Manilow music beamed directly into your skull for all eternity…..
Neural implants will become like having your ears pierced,,,, so that you can use your iPhone without earbuds,,,,
The thing about Musk is that he does not hold his employees to a standard he does not hold himself to. Tesla employees are catching COVID, and that was expected; he managed not to catch it (I think?), but he is right there in their midst nonetheless.
Next up: annoying ads fed directly into the brain, that can’t be blocked.
If you can do music, why not audio and video, and the other senses too? The killer app isn’t music, but full-immersion matrix-like VR. It would open up amazing new possibilities for art and human interaction. I have to admit, I’ve always wanted to experience full-immersion VR. But I still don’t know if I would ever choose to get a “neural lace”, even if the procedure itself was safe. The implications for abuse are absolutely terrifying.
Interface, that is the key word here. A man who sees his fellow human beings as nothing more than subjects for his engineering projects will unnecessarily fill the sky with tens of thousands satellites, will attempt to ship a million people to live in a hostile planet for no reason at all and wouldn’t mind get his workers infected with Corona virus to restart production prematurely in an epidemic time. Of course, this person will also be attracted to a high human interference technology that will quickly evolve to a poerful human control technology.
The problems Musk mentions in the tweet are the sort of thing cochlear implants have already solved. They’ve even done tests about bypassing the cochlear nerve (in cases of severely degraded nerves) and going to the brain.
Yeah, I’m sure he does like to poach talent from cochlear implant companies.
Kinda depends on the music. We might get awfully tired of Barry Manilow being piped directly into our brains. On the other hand, could do wonders for the population problem.
All fine and good but will it “raise quality of life for all species”?
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