Elon Musk has made a habit of embarking on wild new endeavors. He wants to colonize Mars. He started work to bore a tunnel underneath the highways of Los Angeles on a whim. And now he wants to connect people's brains to computers.
According to the , Elon Musk is launching a new company called Neuralink to use "neural lace" technology to embed electrodes in people's brains. A neural implant device could allow humans to issue direct commands to computers just by thinking—firing neural signals and stimulating the device. Nerualink was registered as a "medical research" company in California last July, and according to the Journal, Musk plans on financing the company almost entirely by himself.
As the , the move to start developing brain implant technology is likely in accordance with Musk's argument that humans will need to augment their abilities with machine technology to survive in a future dominated by artificial intelligence. At the World Government Summit in Dubai last month, Musk said that for humans to contribute to the future economy they will need to expand their capabilities through a "merger of biological intelligence and machine intelligence."
Neurological implants have been successfully used to allow amputees to control robotic prosthetics. There are some indications that Musk's Neuralink will attempt to expand the technology so that the human brain can receive inputs from a computing system as well, heightening intelligence or capability. More information should be available next week, and then Musk can start his masterplan to become a cyborg in earnest.