I’m a fan of Elon Musk, I cherish his work ethic. And while I think he is just the boss when it comes to capacity, he’s taken it a step further. Prior to now, Elon Musk actively runs Tesla, SpaceX, Solar City, Boring Company. Now, he has started a new venture, Neuralink.
Neuralink is a technology company that deals with creating brain-computer interfaces that would allow our brains to connect directly to computers. This company would develop “ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers”, a statement as made by Digital Trends.
According to Musk, the aim of the company is to help with the treatment of brain disorders, the preservation, and enhancement of human brains, as well as the ultimate merging of humans with artificial intelligence. One project the company is currently working on is the tech that would allow paralyzed people to control artificial limbs just by thinking about it.
The implementation of this tech would require some brain surgery, as the company hopes to implant a small computer called the “The Link” behind the ear. This computer would help the person to make use of the neural interface. According to Musk, he hopes to have approval for human testing early in 2020. If you know Musk, you would know he is one that sets an insane deadline and works assiduously at achieving it.
Technology is bound to go this way, it’s not surprising. We have seen closer tech being used in Sci-Fi movies. But when those science fiction techs begin to come to reality, there are a lot of questions to be asked. Because in real life, things are actually real.
First question: Who owns the brain data?
Yes, Facebook amongst others has been faced with Privacy issue in the past few years. This is a testimonial of the fact that people are waking to need to feel more secure in their dealings. Now, with an implant that can detect what you are thinking, who owns the data. Is there no risk of the data (thoughts that make you unique) being sold to third parties, or used for other ventures. Google uses data gotten from you to show adverts in apps and web pages. Would we experience something like this, or something more lethal? Elong needs to give an answer.
Another question: How safe will the brain be?
This is one serious question and I think it might delay the launch of this tech, if not eliminate it finally. You would agree with me that, anything, once it has software behind it, can be hacked. What if we have this implant on, and someone randomly hacks into your thoughts. What if the hacker suddenly sends a virus into the software, and one runs mad. That means we could cause artificial madness. What if the chip overheats and explodes, just like some Apple computers suddenly did some time ago. There are so many what-ifs, so many.
Are you ready to hand a Tech company access to your brain?
Tech companies, in general, can be scary sometimes. Tech is a new way of life, and truth be told, we are still adapting to it. How we then now hand over a part of our body as vital as the human brain to a tech company. I like Musk, but I can’t go without saying that he can be crazy sometimes with the decisions he makes. One tweet made Tesla tumble in the stock market. One wrong decision and many brains could be damaged. This is risky, Elon Musk, as I know him, is someone that takes too much risk. It might be unwise to hand him control of a part of the brain. Sorry Musk.
How will the Tech identify real thoughts and unwanted thoughts?
Though In a video of the short session Musk had on Tuesday, he is seen saying that work is on, to make sure the computer is able to distinguish between your thoughts and the ones you have no control over. What if you are beside someone who offended you, and you are suddenly thinking, “I wish i could slap him”, and you hand moves to do the job. That’s on a lighter note though. But, we sometimes have so many unwanted thoughts, how will the computer differentiate this, since it’s modus operandi is to detect brain waves.
There are so many questions to ask Musk about this new venture of his, but I’m sure that as time goes, we would have more answers.