Elon Musk founded Neuralink in 2016. Since that time, the company’s work has been largely shrouded in mystery — aside from the occasional speculation gleaned from job listings, or minor cryptic updates from Musk himself.
All we really know up to this point is that Neuralink is working on brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) that allow computer chips to effectively be controlled by our minds.
Now, that is set to change, as Neuralink will be live-streaming an event on Tuesday, July 16, that will outline what they have been working on.
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Livestreamed to your brain
The announcement and details were revealed on Neuralink’s official Twitter account:
It will also be livestreamed, for those who don’t have the chance to come!— Neuralink (@neuralink) 11 July 2019
As of writing, there is no concrete information on the time of the event — which will take place in San Francisco in front of a select audience — or what platforms the stream will be available on.
The company’s website reveals no further information. Aside from job listings, the only information about what Neuralink does is the following:
“Neuralink is developing ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers.”
This means that the livestream of July 16 will be the first real actual unveiling of what the company is doing. As such, speculation is already gaining pace online about what Neuralink will reveal. On paper, BCIs can link human beings with the vastly enhanced capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI).
Is the Singularity near?
Some believe that linking our biological bodies to AI would lead to ‘the Singularity’ as theorized by Ray Kurzweil — where human minds become one with AI and transcend biology.
In his book, The Singularity is Near, Kurzweil theorizes, through the medium of technology, human intelligence will grow exponentially; technology acting as an aid to our brain capacity will allow us to create more advanced technology that will further aid us, leading to an exponential upward curve of intelligence.
Kurzweil suggests that the vast implications of linking ourselves with AI would lead to superhuman cognition and the implications of that would go beyond the current understanding of our biological brains.
You are already a cyborg
In an interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Elon Musk was asked about what Neuralink’s purpose was, and what it is setting out to achieve.
Musk replied that the company’s purpose is to “create a high-bandwidth interface to the brain, such that we can be symbiotic with AI.”
He followed this by saying, “we have a bandwidth problem. You just can’t communicate with your fingers, it’s too slow.”
When Rogan asked how linking AI to our brains will enhance our capabilities, Musk replied, “you are already a cyborg” essentially.
The Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and SolarCity man said we are already immeasurably smarter with a smartphone — which has perfect memory and allows you to look up any question.
Merging AI and the human brain goes a step beyond this, and “it would allow anyone who wants [it] to have superhuman cognition,” Musk continued, leading to Rogan saying “pass me the whiskey, this is getting too weird.”
Aside from those working inside Neuralink, the person who might know the most about the behind-the-scenes of the company is Tim Urban of Wait But Why. He was given first-hand access by Musk and wrote a piece about it in 2017 — with the disclaimer that he wasn’t allowed to reveal too much about the inner workings of the company.
Next Tuesday we’ll have a much better idea of what Neuralink is capable of ourselves — and whether the AI hype is to be believed, or if Ray Kurzweil’s theories will have to remain science fiction for now.
Source: Interesting Engineering