What we know about Elon Musk’s ‘dramatic’ plan to link human brains to computers through implants

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Image: Neuralink

[July 16], fans and haters of Elon Musk turned out by the thousands to watch an internet live-stream of the first public presentation by Neuralink, a company the Tesla billionaire formed two years ago with the dramatic (if not entirely new) goal of connecting people’s brains to computers.

Here’s our summary of what’s new about Neuralink, and what isn’t. 

Overall idea: Not new. Scientists have been testing brain implants on patients that allow them to move computer cursors or robot arms for about 15 years.

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Design approach: What Neuralink is trying to do now is to engineer a safe, miniaturized interface that’s actually practical to have inside your head.

Consumer product: In the long term, Musk and company are aiming for a brain interface for the masses, not just the severely ill—the kind of thing you’d “recommend to family and friends,” … . This remains the newest, craziest, and most controversial part of the whole Neuralink project. It’s hard to imagine people getting brain surgery if they don’t need it even if the procedure is as simple as Lasik, as Neuralink suggests it will be. 

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Related article:  Dark side of brain upgrades: They could give corrupt leaders 'the ultimate way to ensure good citizenship'

Time line: Neuralink says it wants to implant its system into paralyzed volunteers by the end of 2020… .

Read full, original post: What’s new and what isn’t about Elon Musk’s brain-computer interface

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