Elon Musk wants to harness brainpower to ‘fix’ spinal injuries

Weblog: Neuralink is developing a chip that hooks your brain directly to a computer

Launched last week in San Francisco, Neuralink aims to create a ‘neural lace’  that is  interlaced with the cerebral cortex

Launched last week in San Francisco, Neuralink aims to create a ‘neural lace’ that is interlaced with the cerebral cortex

 

It’s the stuff of science fiction, but also within the realm of possibility. Elon Musk’s latest venture, Neuralink, is a neurotechnology company aiming to create brain-computer interfaces to allow the brain to communicate directly with external devices.

Launched last week in San Francisco, Neuralink has been a goal of Musk’s since 2016 when he talked about the concept of a “neural lace” or implantable device that is hypothetically interlaced with the cerebral cortex or outermost layer of the brain. This, quite literally, is science fiction because Musk borrowed the term from the work of Iain M Banks.

Neuralink launch event

In his presentation Musk said its purpose is to understand and treat brain disorders and “preserve and enhance your own brain”. He went on to say that Neuralink’s technology aims to help those who have broken their neck or their spine. “We can solve that with a chip.” The company hopes to carry out the first human trials in 2020.

Said one YouTuber, commenting on a livestream of the Neuralink launch: “I am almost completely paralysed (can only move my head), so I am super hyped about this brain-computer interface of Neuralink! At the same time scared, because I do no[t] like to place stuff in my brain and how strange will it be?”