One of the challenges to people who are fully paralyzed is their ability to move around. While there have been efforts at creating devices that can be controlled using our brains, Elon Musk’s Neuralink company is hoping to take things one step further by actually implanting computers into our brains.
This will be done by “sewing” flexible threads into our brains. These threads measure a quarter the diameter of a human hair where its built-in sensors can capture information and send it to a receiver and transmit the data wirelessly. One of the goals of the company is that eventually, this could result in a much-improved brain interface that will allow patients who might have brain damage or other disabilities to control devices.
The company also has a loftier and almost science fiction-like long-term goal, where it could create a “tertiary level” of the brain that would be linked to artificial intelligence, essentially allowing humans to merge with AI. According to Musk, “We can effectively have the option of merging with AI. After solving a bunch of brain-related diseases there is the mitigation of the existential threat of AI.”
So far the company has been testing out the technology on rats, but Neuralink is aiming to begin human testing next year, although they have yet to begin the FDA process to start conducting those tests. We imagine it will probably be a while before we will be able to “upgrade” our brains and merge with AI, but it does sound rather promising.