Elon Musk is a name you may have heard of in recent weeks. At the time of the writing of this article, he is currently making headlines every day in his battle to take over Twitter. However, Musk has been making headlines for years. Sometimes he’s making headlines for his opinions about companies triggering huge fluctuations in the stock market. Sometimes he’s making headlines about new developments for his companies such as Tesla and SpaceX. Sometimes he’s making headlines for just having controversial opinions. However, one thing he’s doing, which isn’t making a whole lot of headlines right now (but maybe in the future) is his work with another one of his companies called Neural Link.
What is Neural Link? Musk has described it as a sort of small computer chip that would be surgically installed into the skull of a human that would have a variety of applications. Musk claims that one of its applications would be to address brain-related problems such as depression, sleep apnea, schizophrenia, and even paralysis. But the chip would do much more than help with mental problems according to Musk. A neural link on one person, supposedly, would also be able to communicate with another neural link on another person. Therefore, people would have the ability to transfer information from one person to another like downloading information on a computer from a cloud. Musk has even said in interviews that if the development of this technology goes as well as he hopes, in 10 years, humans would no longer need language to communicate. Communication would simply be a matter of transferring information telekinetically. Musk has made wild statements about lots of different topics but this one is incredible.
Do Musk’s claims hold weight? How far has the technology come thus far? Many scientists today scoff at Musk’s ideas and claims about Neural Link. However, Neural Link has already been conducting experiments in an attempt to make these ideas come to life such as attempting to get two neural-linked monkeys to play pong with each other telekinetically. The company did, however, acknowledge that 23 monkeys had died in these experiments prompting a lot of scrutiny from animal rights activists. Neural Link has also had a high turnover rate among the scientists working on the project. The path to where Musk wants to get appears to be rocky but we still have yet to see if anything else develops out of the endeavor.
The possibility of people one-day using only telekinesis to communicate seems to be doubtful but still worth considering given Elon Musk’s tremendous breakthroughs with SpaceX, Tesla, Paypal, and some of his other companies. Its success would certainly change humanity forever. The thought of such a thing happening can seem scary but Musk argues that Neural Link would be a way for humans to combat the power that artificial intelligence may one day develop saying it would “ultimately help secure humanity’s future as a civilization relative to AI.” Artificial Intelligence is certainly getting more powerful these days but the possibility of humans being destroyed by artificial intelligence remains questionable. It will be interesting to see if any further developments come out of Neural Link.