Understandably, a lot of people are skeptical as to the direction in which modern technology is heading, and it’s not exactly difficult to see their perspective. Very valid concerns come from the fact that technology has been portrayed in so much media as the antagonist, or the catalyst for an antagonist. Everything from Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece 1984, to the classic film, The Terminator, we always see technology being used for bad, and demonized. However, what would happen if technology would be used for a good cause, to positive effect, such as medicine? Enter Neuralink.
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Neuralink is yet another company founded by technological mastermind Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla, Boring Company, Space X, and so many more corporations that it would take too long to list them off. In essence, it is a company which is looking at the convergence of technology, and biology, by implementing various chipsets surgically into the human body, which will be able to communicate with one another. While this idea does seem outlandish, Neuralink is a real company, and has been in research and development stages for a good amount of time now. We predict that we may not be too far off from the company’s first big breakthrough, after all Musk’s entire philosophy is “show don’t tell” in the sense that he generally lets his products do the talking.
Essentially, the company is working to create implantable ‘Brain Machine Interfaces’ or “BMI’s” for short. As the name may suggest, this is a small computer chip, inserted surgically directly into somebody’s brain, for the purpose of diagnosis, correction, or communication. Truth is, thus far, Neuralink is pretty much in it’s infancy, and legitimately has not released too much information about the nature of it’s business. What we do know is, medicine has been a major focus of the company, and being able to treat mental illness, or physical illness pertaining to the brain seems to be one of the primary drivers of the company today. Additionally, the chipsets can communicate, raising questions of information and communication technology being implemented unnaturally into the human body. Certainly, we have seen implants, pacemakers, cadavers, and more artificial medical devices being inserted to the human body, but nothing of this magnitude. This comes from the fact that you will be putting into the mind, something which has a mind of it’s own.
This, obviously enough, has been one of the biggest points of contention when it comes to the Neuralink technology is the safety, as well as the threat of AI. Well first off to address the safety concern, in the primary, most literal sense of the term, we imagine that the procedure itself will be a safe, and secure one. We come to this conclusion based on the fact that Musk rarely has a penchant for releasing products before they are at a safe stage of development. The secondary concern is of the functionality, which again, will most likely be tested heavily, and we assume will have a relatively high success rate as well.
However, the major questions of safety are raised from the advent of artificial intelligence, or AI. After all, these chipsets will have the ability to communicate with not just one another, but with all kinds of technology.
Some of our most important and burning questions for Neuralink are below:
- To what extent will the chips be allowed to interfere with cognition and thinking ability of the human mind, if even at all?
- If they are allowed to interfere, then what kinds of actions can be taken by the AI, and on what grounds?
- How will the devices tackle medical issues, and to what extent can it fix physical issues, and mental issues?
- Through what channels will the technology be able to communicate with the various functions of the body?
- Will the user have any control on how much the chip is able to influence them and their personal body?
- How will government regulations be carried out for these kinds of devices? Since we’ve never quite seen anything along these lines before.
- How exactly would the surgical procedure for insertion of these devices on a human mind be carried out?
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