A couple of years ago, Elon Musk bought a company called Neuralink, which is trying to build a bigger, better brain-machine interface. The hype was incredible. Here’s a small sample (note: the author confuses a concept called a “neural lace” from Ian Banks’ science fiction novels with Musk’s Neuralink over and over again, which tells you how unreal every thing is):
As an immediate application, Neural Lace could potentially help patients suffering from brain injuries and certain illnesses. However, the utimate goal and mission of Neuralink are to successfully merge the human brain with machine, fusing human intelligence with Artificial Intelligence. As a result, this is expected to bring humanity up to a higher level of cognitive reasoning.
At some point, Neural Lace is going to enable humans to upload and download information directly from a computer. Just in a similar way how Neo from the Matrix does in order to learn new skills and acquire new information.
In order to insert Neural Lace, a tiny needle containing the rolled up mesh is placed inside the skull. The mesh is then injected and unveiled upon injection, encompassing the brain.
The Neural Lace integrates itself with the human brain. It creates a perfect symbiosis between human and machine. This technology could be the catalyst for the technological Singularity.
Nope. None of that is true. It serves Musk’s interest to have these absurd claims floated about. I wrote about this nonsense at the time. I pointed out the reality then: “Elon Musk has bought a company, and is cunningly trying to inflate its value by drowning the curious in glurge, techno-mysticism, and making shit up, which, because he has this mystique among young male engineers, will probably succeed in making him more money and fame.” That’s what it’s really about, not science, not cool biomedical engineering, not even impractical wish-fulfillment. It’s a game for Elon Musk to pump up his ego and pretend to be cutting-edge in yet another thing, while skimming off lots of money.
Also, he’s got this bizarre paranoia about artificial intelligence, which he doesn’t understand either, and he thinks this is a way to combat the existential risk of the robots taking over.
Anyway, I bring this up again not because Musk has done anything useful with his hype machine, but because a pretty good video came out explaining the details.
She also makes the very good point that this is not gadgetry to benefit the masses, but to make the rich richer and widen the divide between the haves and have-nots, if it worked. Which it doesn’t.