Elon Musk to Demonstrate Brain-Hacking Device

Elon Musk is set to show off his working brain-hacking device on Friday, BBC News reports.

The demonstration will feature a robot and “neurons firing in real time,” according to several tweets about the reveal.

The electric car maker’s brain-hacking company, Neuralink, applied to start human trials last year, according to BBC.

His goal is to give people superhuman powers via a brain-to-machine interface. Musk calls it “superhuman cognition.”

It would also allow people with neurological conditions to control devices like phones or computers with their mind, BBC reports.

Musk, who is also behind SpaceX, has said in order for artificial intelligence not to destroy the human race, people need to merge with AI.

Neuralink was founded in 2017. It is creating a device that consists of a tiny probe with more than 3,000 electrodes attached to flexible threads thinner than a strand of human hair, which can monitor the activity of 1,000 brain neurons, according to BBC.

During its last update, which was more than a year ago, Neuralink said it had tested a monkey that was able to control a computer with its brain.

The company has already built a “neurosurgical robot” that it claims can insert 192 electrodes into the brain every minute, BBC reports.

University of Pittsburgh assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation Jennifer Collinger said Musk’s undertaking is “truly disruptive technology in a difficult space of medical technology.”

She told BBC that his plans may take longer than he anticipates despite having “significant resources and critically a team of scientists, engineers and clinicians working towards a common goal.”

Ari Benjamin, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kording Lab, told BBC News the hardest roadblock for Musk to overcome will likely be the complexity of the human brain.

“Once they have the recordings, Neuralink will need to decode them and will someday hit the barrier that is our lack of basic understanding of how the brain works, no matter how many neurons they record from,” he said. “Decoding goals and movement plans is hard when you don’t understand the neural code in which those things are communicated.”

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