Elon Musk Says Neuralink Is The Only Way To Survive And Compete With AI

Elon Musk, the genius behind SpaceX and Tesla Inc., has declared that humanity must embrace the merging of man and machine if we hope to survive in a world dominated by artificial intelligence (AI). 

In a 2018 appearance on the "Joe Rogan Experience," Musk teased his company Neuralink has something exciting in store for us. He believes his technology will allow humans to achieve a state of "symbiosis" with AI, where we’ll be able to effortlessly combine our brains with computers. Neuralink has been developing brain implants since 2016 with the goal of curing conditions like paralysis and blindness. 

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Brain Technology & Artificial Intelligence

Brain-Tech has been big business as of late. Synchron recently raised $75 million from the likes of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, and venture-backed TruBrain launched a community round, which means anyone can invest, and seen significant traction among venture capital and retail investors over the years.

According to Musk, people's attachment to their phones already makes them cyborgs, but everyone could still be smarter. The reason is that the information flow between the biological and digital self is painfully slow. Neuralink’s brain-machine interfaces aim to change that by creating a direct communication pathway between the human brain and computers. This technology could eventually allow humans to upload themselves into new units if their biological selves die, essentially achieving immortality.

Musk believes that by merging with AI, humans will be able to keep up with the rapid advancements in technology and compete against AI. He argues that rather than trying to beat machines, humans should join them. Neuralink’s ultimate goal is to create a world where humans and AI work together in harmony, augmenting each other’s abilities and achieving more than people can on their own.

In addition to developing brain implants for individuals with paralysis and blindness, Neuralink is also working on devices to help people with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions. The company’s ultimate goal is to create a technology that can seamlessly interface with the human brain to treat a range of ailments.

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According to Neuralink’s website, the company’s technology has the potential to “restore limb functionality for patients with paralysis due to spinal cord injury or stroke, enable communication for individuals who have lost the ability to speak or gesture and improve the lives of those living with debilitating brain and spinal cord disorders.”

Neuralink is said to have approached one of the largest neurosurgery centers in the U.S. for potential clinical trials collaboration as it gears up to test its devices on humans once regulatory approval is granted. 


But the firm had a setback early last year when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) denied its request to advance to human trials citing major safety concerns. The FDA allegedly provided Neuralink with a detailed list of concerns that must be addressed before the company can proceed with human testing, which is a crucial step toward obtaining final approval for its product. The agency's major concerns centered around the device’s lithium battery, the possibility that the implant’s tiny wires could migrate to other parts of the brain and the risks associated with removing the device without damaging brain tissue. Musk predicts that the company will receive FDA approval for human trials in the spring, but some Neuralink staffers remain skeptical that the issues can be resolved quickly.

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To assist with the human trials, Neuralink has reportedly engaged in talks with Barrow Neurological Institute, a Phoenix-based neurological disease treatment and research center. While discussions have been held with other centers, the sources, who have chosen to remain anonymous, warned that a collaboration is not guaranteed.

As Neuralink faces setbacks in its quest to conduct human trials for its brain implants, its competitor Synchron has made strides in developing similar technology. Synchron recently implanted its first device in the brain of a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that affects the patient’s ability to move and speak, as reported by Bloomberg. 

Despite Musk’s ambitious goals with Neuralink, he and other key figures in artificial intelligence have expressed concerns about the potential risks associated with AI. In fact, they have signed an open letter calling for the suspension of training powerful AI systems because of fears of a threat to humanity.

While Musk believes that merging with AI is necessary for humanity’s survival, he also recognizes the potential dangers that must be addressed.

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