Neuralink, a secretive company set up by Mr Musk two years ago, has said it plans to begin tests of its "brain-computer interface" technology on humans in the next year.
Neuralink's last public exchange was a long explainer on the website Waitbutwhy in 2017, though Musk has often mentioned his end goal of merging human brains with artificial intelligence, as a means of mitigating an existential threat where AI takes over humanity.
"They are tiny electrodes and the robot is delicately implanting them", Musk said, noting there could be thousands of the electrodes connected to a brain.
Still, Musk reckons that once the technique is refined for humans, which could happen as early as next year, the tech will be a big deal.
Neuralink released an unpublished research paper outlining the company's progress, but it wasn't peer-reviewed, as is standard for scientific breakthroughs.
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Neuralink CEO Musk believes millions of people will eventually elect to become cybernetically enhanced.
Elon Musk has unveiled plans to implant computer chips in people's brains that the United States billionaire says will treat brain diseases and enable superhuman intelligence.
Through hundreds of flexible, fiberlike neural implants, the company aims to place electrodes in the brain via a sewing machine-esque surgical robot, allowing for data transfer rates much higher than what's now possible.
Neuralink also debuted a surgical robot equipped with advanced optics that it says is precise enough to weave the delicate threads throughout brain tissue without damaging blood vessels.
Neuralink's President Max Hodak talked about the importance of information theory and how it applies to the field of brain-machine interface. Mechanical Animals As odd as this sounds, Neuralink might be onto something, as they did a demonstration in which a linked up laboratory rat read information from 1,500 electrodes - 15 times greater than current systems embedded in humans.
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But some experts have called Musk's vision "science fiction" and say Neuralink's long-term goals may be unrealistic.
During a presentation, Musk said that the hope was that Neuralink surgery would be similar to something like LASIK eye surgery.
Never one to mince words or understate his ambitions, however realistic or otherwise, Musk boldly stated that "this is going to be important at a civilization-wide scale." .
Neuralink plans to build dense and small sensors that can do more than any other device in the past. But the company hasn't started the process of obtaining approval for such tests from the Food and Drug Administration, which has high barriers for human trials.
Matt McDougall, who serves as Neuralink's head neurosurgeon and is also affiliated with California Pacific Medical Center, had more down-to-earth expectations.
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The advantage of this system, according to the firm, is that it would be able to target very specific areas of the brain, which would make it surgically safer.