Battle of Man vs Machine: The internet reacts to Elon Musk’s brain implant device announcement
As if our minds don't already drive us crazy
Elon Musk finally puts an end to the rumours about what his brain-computer interface start-up Neuralink has been up to when he announced their first product in a presentation on Tuesday. Turns out, they've developed tiny chips attached to ultra-fine, electrode-studded threads that can be implanted into the brain via a robotic sewing machine built by the company. The aforementioned thread which Musk also calls "neural lace" will measure 4 to 6 μm (micrometre) in width. For comparison purposes, that's thinner than a human hair.
According to the tech billionaire, once they're in place, the threads would relay information to the chip, which in turn would transmit it to an external Bluetooth-like device worn behind the ear. This will allow humans to control computers with their minds and interact with artificial intelligence. Just like in the Matrix.
The 48-year-old entrepreneur also went on to explain that testing had already begun on monkeys and rats. What's more, given that the results of those tests have been successful, the chips should be human-ready by 2020.
As unreal and terrifying as it sounds, Musk emphasises how important the chips are in helping patients who're suffering from brain damage or brain disorders. That and also superhuman intelligence but that's not until a few years down the road. It's okay, we've all watched Black Mirror, we know how it ends.
Below are some of the internet's reactions towards the announcement:
Elon Musk just answered a question about animal Neuralink research by saying, "A monkey has been able to control a computer with its brain"— Sam Machkovech (@samred) July 17, 2019
Neuralink rep: "I guess we're letting that cat out of the bag!"
Elon: "You mean, that monkey"
TAKE MY BRAIN ELON— Philippe (@phleeep) July 16, 2019