“The future is gonna be weird,” said the Chief Executive of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk in a presentation by his neurotechnology company, Neuralink Corporation.
Musk’s weird future will see the development of technology that will allow people to be able to store their memories, download and even upload it to another body.
“You could upload. You could basically store your memories as a backup and restore the memories. Ultimately you could potentially download them into a new body or into a robot body,” said the founder of Neuralink.
According to Musk, the new brain-computer interface called “the link” might see a leap in the field of tech and medicine where it could potentially solve memory loss issues, cure paralysis, blindness, and depression.
How will it work
Simply put, your brain is made up of neurons; cells with long connected arms that send messages by electrical spikes (almost like electricity through wires). Those spikes and electricity travel through the neurons sending messages to the parts of our brain that control speech or movement. So, when you move your leg, that action started with an electric spike in your brain.
According to Neuralink, rather than those signals being sent by neurons alone, those signals will be sent and received by a coin-sized chip (the Link) that will be implanted in your brain.
The implantable brain chip called the Link version 0.9, will be implanted directly into the brain by a surgical robot without a big incision or general anesthesia.
“You remove about a coin-sized piece of the skull and you can just walk around right afterwards. It’s pretty cool,” said Musk.
The chip is currently being tested on a pig called Getrude and is able to give real-time signals on the movements of the pigs and responses from its snout and can wirelessly connect to your phone via Bluetooth. The chip also predicted Getrude’s movement based on brain activity while the electrodes in the chip fired up and stimulated different regions of the pig’s brain.
Even though the chip will start out expensive, musk has hopes that it will eventually be as affordable as laser eye surgery.
What to expect
According to Neuralink, the future is taking a leap in the medical field with talk of curing blindness by planting the chip in the visual cortex, treating mental health conditions like anxiety, addiction and depression.
The future could also see connecting the chip to head on display which would allow you to walk around with the same visuals as the terminator.
Other out of the world ideas that were thrown in the presentation included the replaying of memories, superhuman vision, ability to see ultraviolet light and connect your brain and uploading it into a robot.
Even though the talks in the Neuralink presentation sounded like something out of a Black Mirror episode, Elon Musk has a reputation of actualizing what he commits his mind to.