Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, in an interview at Wait But Why, reveals his plan to develop a micron-sized device to link human brains with machines with his new startup Neuralink. The device will also help to treat brain injuries and their symptoms – such as strokes, paralysis and memory loss in old age; and Musk hopes to bring this new technology to the market by 2021, reports The Next Web. He also plans to create a way to connect people’s brains to each other to communicate directly without having to type or talk.
Musk says we’re already a cyborg and we already have superpowers and we have spent a huge part of our lives with smartphones and laptops. He explains, “You’re already digitally superhuman. The thing that would change is the interface—having a high-bandwidth interface to your digital enhancements.The thing is that today, the interface all necks down to this tiny straw, which is, particularly in terms of output, it’s like poking things with your meat sticks, or using words—either speaking or tapping things with fingers. And in fact, output has gone backwards. It used to be, in your most frequent form, output would be ten-finger typing. Now, it’s like, two-thumb typing. That’s crazy slow communication. We should be able to improve that by many orders of magnitude with a direct neural interface.”
Neuralink’s product, however, is still far away from any kind of broad commercial application – and Musk says it will take at least “eight to 10 years” before the product can be used by someone without a disability. TechCrunch notes that “the startup is looking to create therapeutic applications of its tech first.”