Neuralink: Linking our lives together one layer at a time

Who created this crazy INTENSE company?

Elon Musk, creator of all things GREAT, is the all-knowing creator. Musk has founded multiple successful companies like PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX, so why should Neuralink be any different. Elon Musk found motivation to create this in order to synchronize the digital and real world. His ultimate goal is to “live in symbiosis.” Years ago, Musk preached the dangers of technology taking over humanity but nobody listened, so now his goal is to become one with this digital world so we are not taken over by technology.

What is Neuralink?

Neuralink is a neuroethology company that is developing implantable brain machine interfaces (BMI’s). Neuralink is based in San Francisco and the company began in 2016. Just recently the news and details have been coming out. Neuralink held their launch event on July 16th of this year, spilling details about how everything works and how all the pieces are coming together! Basically, Neuralink is a way to add a third layer to the human brain which encompasses digital reality. Musk describes it as “the next chapter of us.” It’s evolution in a sense, where the world has ultimately led us.

How are we going to add this third layer into our brain?

We will not actually be inserting this technology into our brains, and neither will a doctor, instead…. Wait for it…. A specialized robot will be placing these threads into our brain. Comforting, right? Neuralink threads are 1/10th the width of a human hair, therefore human hands are far too large and unstable to complete the procedure. Instead, Musk and his talented teammates, specifically Neurosurgeon Dr. Matt McDougal, have developed a robot to do the tricky work for them. This will be such a miniscule procedure that won’t cause hospital stays, minimal scaring, no need for a shaved head. No wires will be poking out, everything will be wireless and connected through the app. We already have something like a third layer to the brain at Reason, the escape room in San Francisco. Humans connect with the VR and have to interact with puzzles in the “fake” world that are found in the “real” world. Lines are easily blurred.

Why is this happening?

We can look at this in two ways; either as WHY NOT? This is the next step for human enhancement. Or we can see it as a reaction to the fear of technology overtaking humanity. Musk believed that if you can’t beat it then you have to join it. As technology grows stronger why not merge with it? This is all happening as a result of exponential technological growth and our fearless leader, Elon Musk, keeping his eye out for humanity.

What does it mean?

The creation of this company is changing humanity as we know it. As another step to evolve, to develop into the creatures that time has moved us to be. This is the next step and it is both a blessing and a curse that we are able to witness this in our lifetime. Imagine what history books will look like in school… or if there even will be books… or school for that matter. I wonder if there will be an age you have to reach before you can get these implants. Hopefully it will be once the brain has already developed, but who knows? This added layer to our brain will no doubt enhance simulation.

Is it good?

Yes. Although there are a lot of scary aspects to Neuralink, there are also a lot of positive things that can come out of it. Not only is this the next step in evolution, but it can also bring a cure to diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, spinal injuries, etc.  It has the potential to help with both speech and sight, as there will be a tool to write inside of that layer. It may also be more efficient than current technology, as things will get done faster. Phones are already a part of us, like a third hand. What if we didn’t have to actually grab the phone? I know, first world problems… they are real. There is also a much smaller chance of brain damage occurring through this procedure than any other type of brain surgery due to the fact that the tiny robots will be doing the work. But do the pros outweigh the cons? That’s for you to decide!

Is it evil?

Yes but probably necessary for us to reach singularity with robots instead of facing extinction. In the short term this will probably create more distraction in society, as if we already aren’t distracted enough. How will we know when someone is paying attention to us, versus texting another friend or communicating with someone else through their brain? Impatience levels have skyrocketed with technology; today we seek instant gratification and that level of impatience will increase even more once we have that added layer of tech to our brains. What happens when we get hacked? What happens when someone steals the information inside of us or implants a virus? What happens when we are manipulated and brainwashed? All of these are possibilities that should not be overlooked with Neuralink. And will everyone be smart in the same areas? How will individuality stand out? Will the arts disappear? Will wars break out even more rapidly? Will aggression put an end to us all?

How much does it cost?

We are unsure about the cost of this procedure. On the Neuralink launch video, Musk made it clear that he wants this to be easily accessible. Eventually, he wants people to get it if they want it. He stresses the importance of this being an option and never becoming something mandatory (yay for free will)! Other sources think that this procedure will cost 10’s of thousands of dollars? So, will the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?

Is it ready?

Not quite yet. Currently Neuralink is successfully being tested on rats. They are aware that not every procedure works on humans as it does on rats but the team has high hopes for it be ready next year to test on human patients. At first it will just be used for medical cases, but eventually Musk wants everyone to have access to this gift.

Overall thoughts and opinions

Neuralink is a very complex company. It carries a lot of controversy. Some see it as the ultimate demise of humanity; others see humans merging with technology as our saving grace or the next stage of evolution. As many changes in our world, we won’t really know until it happens but it sure is gonna be one crazy roller coaster ride.