Elon Musk says his brain chip Neuralink company could ‘re-train’ area associated with depression and addiction

  • Elon Musk founded Neuralink in 2016 and has kept a tight lid on developments 
  • A Twitter user asked Musk if the brain chip could re-train the brain
  • He asked if it could reset the area associated with depression and addiction 
  • Musk replied that the brain chip could cure both depression and addiction

Elon Musk is slowly releasing details about his secret brain chip startup Neuralink, but he recently shared the technology could help cure addiction and depression.

The billionaire shared the news on Twitter following a user asking if the implant could ‘re-train part of the brain’ linked to the ailments.

‘For sure. This is both great & terrifying,’ Musk wrote in the response.

Musk has kept a tight lid about the startup, but said he will reveal more about plans next month.

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Elon Musk is slowly releasing details about his secret brain chip startup Neuralink, but he recently shared the technology could help cure addiction and depression. The billionaire shared the news on Twitter following a user asking if the implant could ‘re-train part of the brain’ linked to the ailments

Neuralink, which was founded in 2016, is designing tiny flexible ‘threads’ that are ten times thinner than a human hair with the goal of treating brain injuries and trauma.

However, Musk has been careful to share too much about the firm until the tech is ready, but he has answered a few questions on Twitter.

Pranay Pathole, a Twitter user, wrote: ‘Can Neuralink be used to re-train the part of the brain which is responsible for causing addiction or depression?’

‘It’d be great if neuralink can be used for something like curing addiction/depression.’

‘For sure. This is both great & terrifying,’ Musk wrote in the response. Musk has kept a tight lid about the startup, but said he will reveal more about plans next month

In May, the tech tycoon spoke on Joe Rogan’s podcast to discuss the birth of his child, along with how Neuralink is set to have a version of its brain implant ready ‘within a year’

Musk who is known to personally respond to his fans shared: ‘For sure. This is both great & terrifying. Everything we’ve ever sensed or thought has been electrical signals.’

‘The early universe was just a soup of quarks & leptons. How did a very small piece of the Universe start to think of itself as sentient?’ 

In May, the tech tycoon spoke on Joe Rogan’s podcast to discuss the birth of his child, along with how Neuralink is set to have a version of its brain implant ready ‘within a year.’

Musk explained that the process involves removing a chunk of the skull, robots then insert electrodes into the brain and the device into the hole, with only a small scar left behind.

He also revealed that the technology could develop into a full brain interface in just 25 years, which would enable ‘symbiosis’ between humans and AI.

Musk explained that the process involves removing a chunk of the skull, robots then insert electrodes into the brain and the device into the hole, with only a small scar left behind 

‘We’re not testing people yet, but I think it won’t be too long,’ Musk told Rogan. ‘We may be able to implant a neural link in less than a year in a person I think.’

The news follows Musk announced in February tweet that the firm, which he co-founded, improved the initial design of the implant.

‘Wait until you see the next version vs what was presented last year. It’s *awesome*, he wrote.

In the podcast, Musk dished to Rogan about the technology, how it is implanted and what it can do to improve the human body.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=RcYjXbSJBN8%3Fstart%3D3447

In the podcast, Musk dished to Joe Rogan (pictured)  about the technology, how it is implanted and what it can do to improve the human body. ‘We’re not testing people yet, but I think it won’t be too long,’ Musk said. ‘We may be able to implant a neural link in less than a year in a person I think’

Neuralink, which was founded in 2016, is designing tiny flexible ‘threads’ that are ten times thinner than a human hair and can be inserted directly into the brain 

Musk explained that the device is about one inch in diameter, similar to the face of a smart watch, and is implanted by removing a small chunk of the skull.

A small robot connects the thread-like electrodes to certain areas of the brain, stitches up the hole and the only visible remains is a scar left behind from the incision.

‘If you got an interface into the motor cortex, and then an implant that’s like a microcontroller near muscle groups you can then create a sort of a neural shunt that restores somebody who quadriplegic to full functionality, like they can walk around, be normal – maybe slightly better overtime,’ Musk explained.

When asked about the risks involved with placing a foreign object in the body, Musk said there is ‘a very low potential risk for rejection.’

‘People put in heart monitors and things for epileptic seizures, deep brain simulation, artificial hips and knees that kind of thing,’ he said, noting that ‘it’s well known what is cause for a rejection or not.’

The tech tycoon explained that the device is about one inch in diameter, similar to the face of a smart watch, and is implanted by removing a small chunk of the skull 

Along with curing aliments, the chip could change the way human beings interface with each other.

‘You wouldn’t need to talk,’ Musk said, who foresees the technology going further to enable ‘symbiosis’ between humans and AI. 

‘I think this is one of the paths to like AI is getting better and better,’ Musk said.

‘We are kind of left behind, we are just too dumb.’

‘So how do you go along for the ride?’

‘If you can’t beat them join them.’

‘We are already a cyborg to some degree,’ Musk told Rogan.

Musk explained that the process involves removing a chunk of the skull, robots then insert electrodes into the brain and the device into the hole, with only a small scar left behind 

‘You got your phone, you got your laptop… If you’re missing your phone, it feels like missing limb syndrome.’

However, the CEO noted that our data rate to electronics is slow, but combined with a computer and we could communicate just as fast as one.

This would improve the symbiosis between human and machine and Musk said that in 25 years from now, assuming civilization is around, there could be an entire brain interface. 

This means all the neurons would be connected to an AI extension of yourself.

‘You already have a computer extension of yourself and an online extension when someone dies, it is like an online ghost,’ the tech tycoon said.

‘It would just be that more of you would be in the cloud instead of your body.’

A TIMELINE OF ELON MUSK’S COMMENTS ON AI

Musk has been a long-standing, and very vocal, condemner of AI technology and the precautions humans should take 

Elon Musk is one of the most prominent names and faces in developing technologies. 

The billionaire entrepreneur heads up SpaceX, Tesla and the Boring company. 

But while he is on the forefront of creating AI technologies, he is also acutely aware of its dangers. 

Here is a comprehensive timeline of all Musk’s premonitions, thoughts and warnings about AI, so far.   

August 2014 – ‘We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.’ 

October 2014 – ‘I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence.’

October 2014 – ‘With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.’ 

June 2016 – ‘The benign situation with ultra-intelligent AI is that we would be so far below in intelligence we’d be like a pet, or a house cat.’

July 2017 – ‘I think AI is something that is risky at the civilisation level, not merely at the individual risk level, and that’s why it really demands a lot of safety research.’ 

July 2017 – ‘I have exposure to the very most cutting-edge AI and I think people should be really concerned about it.’

July 2017 – ‘I keep sounding the alarm bell but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal.’

August 2017 –  ‘If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea.’

November 2017 – ‘Maybe there’s a five to 10 percent chance of success [of making AI safe].’

March 2018 – ‘AI is much more dangerous than nukes. So why do we have no regulatory oversight?’ 

April 2018 – ‘[AI is] a very important subject. It’s going to affect our lives in ways we can’t even imagine right now.’

April 2018 – ‘[We could create] an immortal dictator from which we would never escape.’ 

November 2018 – ‘Maybe AI will make me follow it, laugh like a demon & say who’s the pet now.’

September 2019 – ‘If advanced AI (beyond basic bots) hasn’t been applied to manipulate social media, it won’t be long before it is.’

February 2020 – ‘At Tesla, using AI to solve self-driving isn’t just icing on the cake, it the cake.’

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