Ready for Computerized Brains…

Since its founding in 2016, Neuralink has remained one of Elon Musk’s quieter ventures. It’s the mission of linking human and computer technologies have been, compared to Musk’s work at SpaceX, Tesla, or The Boring Company, relatively quiet. No longer. Speaking at a press conference in San Francisco, Musk announced that the company has made serious progress in animal testing.

“A monkey has been able to control a computer with his brain,” Musk said at the press conference, which was live-streamed on YouTube and can be seen below. However, Neuralink offered no proof of the claim.

Neuralink did offer up an unpublished white paper, credited to “Elon Musk & Neuralink,” which detailed the company’s interest in body-machine interfaces, or BMIs. The work described within the white paper builds off of work done in neuroprosthetics, like the mind-controlled exoskeleton that a paraplegic man used in 2014 to kick off the World Cup.

“While these successes suggest that high fidelity information transfer between brains and machines is possible, development of BMI has been critically limited by the inability to record from large numbers of neurons,” Musk and his team say.

“Neuralink didn’t come out of nowhere; there’s a long history of academic research here. We’re, in the greatest sense, building on the shoulders of giants,” company president Max Hodak added during the press conference.

There are numerous goals for Neuralink—helping people with debilitating conditions like Locked In Syndrome, also known as a pseudocoma, are high among them. But Musk also wants to make sure that humanity can hold its own in the future against artificial intelligence.