THE so-called real life Tony Stark has quietly launched a company effectively designed to turn us into cyborgs and merge our brains with AI technology.
Whether he’s promising to fix South Australia’s power supply crisis or colonise Mars, few dream bigger than Elon Musk.
The co-founder of PayPal and the founder of Tesla and SpaceX has reportedly launched a new company that could merge computers with human brains.
The company is called Neuralink Corp and is pursuing what Musk calls “neural lace” technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The concept is not an uncommon one but the science behind it is very much in its infancy.
Musk has long signalling his intention to enter the area of brain-computer interfaces and outlined his vision for the neural lace at the Recode’s Code Conference last year.
“We’re already a cyborg — I mean, you have a digital or partial version of yourself in the form of your emails and your social media and all the things that you do, and you have basically superpowers with your computer and your phone and the applications that are there,” Mr Musk said at the conference.
For him the plan is all about ushering in the true symbiosis of man and machine intelligence — a task countless others are also committed to.
Back in January, during musings on social media about starting a boring company to dig underground tunnels to alleviate traffic congestion, Musk told one Twitter user he might soon make an announcement about his neural lace plans.
Musk has not made an official announcement, but Neuralink was registered in California as a “medical research” company last July, and he plans on funding the company mostly by himself.
It is unclear what sorts of products Neuralink might create, but people who have had discussions with the company describe a strategy similar to Musk’s other companies, SpaceX and Tesla.
In recent weeks, Neuralink has also hired leading academics in the field, the Journalreported.