Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×
Communications Science Technology

Inside Elon Musk's New Company Neuralink Which Aims To Fight Brain Conditions And Help Humanity Survive in the Age of AI (waitbutwhy.com) 63

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has confirmed plans for his newest company, called Neuralink Corp, revealing he will be the chief executive of a startup that aims to merge computers with brains so humans could one day engage in "consensual telepathy." In an interview with explainer website Wait But Why (36,000-word), Musk said Neuralink aims to implant tiny brain electrodes that first would be used to fight brain conditions but later help humanity avoid subjugation at the hands of intelligent machines. From the report: "There are a bunch of concepts in your head that then your brain has to try to compress into this incredibly low data rate called speech or typing," Musk said. "That's what language is, your brain has executed a compression algorithm on thought, on concept transfer. If you have two brain interfaces, you could actually do an uncompressed direct conceptual communication with another person." Musk says he expects the project to take eight to 10 years before being usable by people with no disability. He anticipates tons of regulatory challenges in his way.

Inside Elon Musk's New Company Neuralink Which Aims To Fight Brain Conditions And Help Humanity Survive in the Age of AI

Comments Filter:
  • by Ihlosi ( 895663 ) on Friday April 21, 2017 @10:05AM (#54275951)
    ... but if you're not, they'll turn it into involuntary telepathy.

    Have a nice day.

    • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Friday April 21, 2017 @11:56AM (#54276743) Homepage Journal

      ... but if you're not, they'll turn it into involuntary telepathy.

      Elon has three main obstacles:
      1) understand the brain
      2) figure out how to engineer an enhancement system
      3) perfect computer security

      I don't know who else is more up to those challenges, but boy are they huge challenges (electric cars and rockets do seem like warm-up practice).

      Without 3) I'm not interested. With 3) we advance as a society way more than just the neural lace will provide.

      Regardless, the endeavor should yield significant progress in all three areas, so even if this Holy Grail isn't achieved, the effort will be worthwhile nonetheless.

  • >> article on Wait But Why is 36,000-word long

    If we can't handle 36K word articles...then I welcome our AI overlords. Learn how to skim, people.
  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Friday April 21, 2017 @11:16AM (#54276473)
    So the goals of the technology have been outlined. However, I don't think the totality of how this will be used can be guessed at outside of a flying leap. I suspect the outcome will be stranger than it's stated goals. Here is my flying leap, brains for hire:

    Imagine shifts running around the clock where all you do is come in and be rendered unconscious so your brain can be linked with thousands of others to perform massive computational tasks. After being revived you go about your business until your next shift.

    Philosophical problem: Can you be sure you ever actually woke up, or are you still sitting there in a dream that your are awake while your brain is still crunching numbers?
  • by Robyrt ( 1305217 ) on Friday April 21, 2017 @11:28AM (#54276557)

    The parts of the brain that most of us would like to be technologically enhanced - memory, facial recognition, mental math - are very poorly understood. Even if we had a device allowing us to fire neurons on command, we have no idea how to write a program that helps with these problems.

    Musk is smart to focus on medical applications, where even an implant that functions poorly is much better than the alternative. It's a lot easier to make a pacemaker than to perform a heart transplant, and the same holds true for the brain.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Musk would be even smarter if he actually finished a project before starting another one. Most of what he does amounts to nothing.

    • Musk is smart to focus on medical applications, where even an implant that functions poorly is much better than the alternative. It's a lot easier to make a pacemaker than to perform a heart transplant, and the same holds true for the brain.

      Musk is very good at taking seemingly impossible goals and breaking them down into more achievable ones. Medical implants for the disabled are likely a stepping stone for brain enhancement on healthy individuals.

      Another example of this method:
      1. Invest in a high performance, low volume, electric vehicle. Profit.
      2. Invest in a high end, luxury, electric vehicle. Profit [fool.com]
      3. Invest in a high volume electric vehicle. End goal.

    • We may not have a good interface directly into the brain for memory, math, and facial recog; but that seems like a problem would could solve. After all, what are our eyes and a phone but a kind of klunky prosthetic for a deficient brain?

      What we really don't understand is how this impacts our state of being. If I have a cybernetic implant that allows me to preserve the memory of my family, I'm still alive, right? Simply having access to knowledge of my life doesn't steal my consciousness. Otherwise, fami

  • I used to think Elon Musk was the real-life Tony Stark; now I think he's closer to the real-life Nichola Tesla, but in Tesla's final years, when his mental faculties were clearly deteriorating. Elon Musk clearly needs to stop reading so many cautionary science fiction stories, stop watching so much television, and stay out of movie theatres, at least until he can learn to distinguish fantasy from reality again -- assuming that is he's ever known the difference in the first place. We're not going to be 'subj
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I always figured humans were more likely to become the Borg than the Federation. Now we know how it begins.

  • It is meant to function much like the brain implant the main character of Farscape got which worked against his interests to extract information, only much much more clunky.
  • Someone smarter than someone else could flood the other person's brain. Doesn't even need to be overall intelligence, just in whatever part is creating the thoughts. What if I'm thinking about an n-dimensional problem where n is much greater than 3, and I try to transmit this idea to someone else? This is excluding my A.D.D.. Sometimes I think so fast I almost blackout. Many concurrent thoughts traversing many different paths, trying to solve a difficult problem.

    I recognize that the rate and quality of id
  • "... what language is, your brain has executed a compression algorithm on thought, on concept transfer." No, language isn't that. See mandatory South Park https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] from "Marklars are wise and true", Starvin' Marvin episode.
  • They may discover that going through the speech channel forces the mind to refine throughs. What is a raw through that has not been verbalized?

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer

Working...