Elon Musk already has plans to win the electric car battle with plans to fully occupy our roads with Tesla cars well into the future. And he’s in the new space race as well, developing SpaceX technology to send us lowly humans to Mars and beyond. Oh, and then there’s internet service which he wants to provide to the world via his Starlink satellites.
But not stopping there, Elon Musk has plans to control the human brain as well. His company Neuralink is currently developing brain chip technology to “help” control body functions and other things. And that company looks like it is gearing up for human trials sooner than later. It’s an interesting, and maybe scary, prospect about the dovetailing of humans and machines in a way we haven’t quite seen before.
The Guardian has it that Elon Musk and Neuralink have posted a position for a clinical trial director and is looking to fill the role in an effort to fully get underway with the human trials. The job posting is the first crystal clear sign that the company feels confident moving forward with brain chips in humans and is looking for someone to completely oversee the initiative. The job posting reflects some of the necessary pieces of this type of field including coordinating the team of scientists involved with the trial as well as the first trial applicants. And there is, of course, a regulatory component that needs to be met here as well.
While it might sound like scary stuff coming from Elon Musk, implanting microchips into human brains, the company at least lets on a tone of helping with their initial goals. For starters, the primary reason they’ve said to want to develop this technology is to help humans who have been victims of paralysis or other disorders related to brain and spine injury. Part of their goal is to help humans return movement to extremities when the spinal cord has been damaged, something that’s been nearly impossible up until this point.
And we got one of our first looks at some of what Elon Musk and Nueralink have in store when they released a video of a monkey playing video games with the brain chip implanted. As we said at the time, this was done by using a censor along with the connected chips that tracked the monkey’s movements while playing Pong. Through the setup, the Neuralink technology was able to “predict” what the monkey was going to do in the game before he even made the move himself. While the animal thought the joystick was making the moves, it was in fact the real-time data being sent via the brain chip that essentially anticipated the moves. This is wild stuff and the key for the company in its goal to essentially pass down brain functioning to real-life body control.
Look, should we be rightfully trepidatious when it comes to this new tech? For sure, especially considering that Elon Musk also just came out with the speculation that Tesla and his new Optimus robot initiative could lead the way to AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) or sentient thought among machines. This is the kind of stuff that comes right out of a science fiction dystopian novel. And we could already be there. There is no specific timeline about the Neuralink human trials, but rest (not) assured that they are coming soon.