- REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk said his latest company Neuralink is working to link the human brain with computers by creating micron-sized devices.
Neuralink is aiming to bring to the market a product that helps with certain severe brain injuries due to stroke and cancer lesion in about four years, Musk said in an interview with the website Wait But Why on Thursday.
“If I were to communicate a concept to you, you would essentially engage in consensual telepathy,” Musk said in the interview. Neuralink will be Musk’s third company along with Tesla and SpaceX.
Musk’s announcement comes just one day after Facebook revealed its plans to build a noninvasive sensor capable of letting people type 100 words-per-minute using only brain waves. Facebook executives have said that communicating directly with the brain will be needed for a future in which augmented reality glasses display virtual objects onto the real world.
Musk has hinted at his ambitions to interface with the brain in recent months. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will create computers so sophisticated and godlike that humans will need to implant “neural laces” in their brains to keep up, Musk previously said at a tech conference last year.
“There are a bunch of concepts in your head that then your brain has to try to compress into this incredibly low data rate called speech or typing,” Musk said in Thursday’s interview with Wait But Why. “If you have two brain interfaces, you could actually do an uncompressed direct conceptual communication with another person.”
The technology could take about eight to 10 years to become usable by people with no disability, which would depend heavily on regulatory approval timing and how well the devices work on people with disabilities, according to Musk.
In March, the Wall Street Journal reported that Musk had launched a company through which computers could merge with human brains. Neuralink was registered in California as a “medical research” company last July, and he plans on funding the company mostly by himself.