Elon Musk’s Neuralink wants to stream music directly to your brain
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has some pretty radical ideas. One of them includes creating a brain-computer interface that connects humans to their technology in an entirely new way. His brain-hacking startup called Neuralink is currently getting ready for a massive reveal event on August 28.
In the meantime, it appears that Elon can’t keep the secrets to himself. On Sunday afternoon, Musk left a response on a Twitter user’s post who asked if it would one day be possible to listen to music directly through a brain-computer interface. He simply said, “Yes.”
As of now, Neuralink remains shrouded in mystery. Most of the information we know about the startup came during a presentation last year. During which, the team discussed how a series of laser drills will be used to make tiny holes in the skull to implant the Neuralink system.
Yes, it sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. No, Neuralink isn’t kidding.
At the event, the startup also showed off a small device that then hooks up to the brain via wires through the laser-drilled holes. Early versions of the gadget are mostly aimed at helping those with brain injuries and those suffering from a condition like Parkinson’s, according to Musk during a recent appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
During the interview, he also said, “We’re not testing on people yet, but I think it won’t be too long. We may be able to implant a neural link in less than a year in a person I think.”
Notably, the podcast appearance took place in May 2020. If that timeline is correct, then next month’s Neuralink event could feature some big news.
In fact, streaming music directly to the brain isn’t all that Elon has in mind (no pun intended). Another Twitter user asked whether Neuralink’s device could help “stimulate the release of oxytocin, serotonin, and other chemicals when needed.”
If that’s possible, it would open the door for an entirely new method of treating mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, OCD, and eating disorders.
How Ready is Neuralink?
Next month’s presentation will be very telling. Although the idea of Neuralink is incredible (and a little scary) the technology still needs to be proven.
At this point, it’s impossible to know whether or not Neuralink or another brain-computer interface could become commonplace anytime soon. Perhaps the team has made a novel breakthrough that will make the implantation process seamless and safe. Perhaps they’ve found a way to bypass the ear, the cochlear nerves, and send magic directly to the brain’s auditory processing center.
Only time will tell. Likewise, it remains to be seen if consumers are willing to let a company drill holes in their skull to implant a computer.
Nonetheless, Neuralink is working hard to fulfill its mission of bringing humans and technology closer together. Over the weekend, Musk sent out a request for new talent, tweeting, “If you’ve solved hard problems with phones/wearables (sealing, signal processing, inductive charging, power management, etc.), please consider working at [Neuralink].”
Stay tuned to The Burn-In for the latest updates on Neuralink and coverage of its event on August 28.
Originally published at https://www.theburnin.com on July 20, 2020.