The start-up Neuralink which is developing an interface connecting the brain to computers should carry out its first tests on individuals as early as next year, announced its boss Elon Musk on Tuesday evening in San Francisco. ” We can achieve a complete brain-machine interface ”, said Mr. Musk, during a high-tech event in San Francisco where the billionaire and members of the Neuralink team presented a state of their research. The project can ” achieve a kind of symbiosis with artificial intelligence ”, he assures.
The futuristic entrepreneur (Tesla, SpaceX) maintains that what he calls ” neural lace “, union between the brain and the computers, is a vital counterfeit in the face of artificial intelligence which, according to him, runs the risk of humans one day becoming nothing more than ” domestic cats’. Neuralink has unveiled a first version of a tiny sensor intended to be implanted in the brain through a tiny incision made by a robot designed for this high-precision task. ” These are tiny electrodes that the robot delicately implants ”Mr. Musk explained, adding that thousands of electrodes could be connected to the brain in the future.
Implantation on a human already envisaged
For now, the goal is to let the individual with the implants control a smartphone by thought, but the technology could eventually spread to other devices such as robotics tools. ” It has enormous potential ”, says Musk, “ we hope to be able to implant it on a human before the end of next year. “
According to a neurosurgeon at Neuralink, one of the first applications of this technology is aimed at treating neurological diseases. But the long-term goal is to make implants so safe, reliable and simple that they could be considered elective (comfort) surgery for individuals who dream of empowering their brains with computing power. Elon Musk wants to believe that such implants will soon be as common as laser eye surgery.