Neuralink: Elon Musk’s Vision to Merge Humans with AI
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”
So eloquently put by Charles Darwin which touches on the topic of natural selection. As we progress as a society this notion of natural selection becomes increasingly blurred as technology advances at such a rapid rate. Ultimately creating a new form of evolution…artificial selection.
As humans we are the most intelligent of all sentient beings, progressing over centuries from our primitive ancestors who roamed wide open natural plains and savannahs into technologically advanced, city dwelling creatures.
With the dawn of the internet and rapid advancements in digital tech science our evolutionary journey has begun to plateau and the next phase of evolution will come in the form of artificial enhancements.
Artifical limbs and progress in science such as stem cell research provide us with various ways in which we can perform better and heal from various ailments. Films such as Ghost in the Shell highlight a future in which we will utilise artificial limbs to be faster, stronger and overall more adaptable to the environment around us.
But what happens when we start tweaking not only our bodies, but our minds?
In July 2019, Elon Musk shed light on his secretive company, Neuralink, and what they’ve been working on.A device which would be inserted into the minds of patients and aid them in various ways. The device the firm has developed consists of a tiny probe containing more than 3,000 electrodes attached to flexible threads- thinner than a human hair – which can then monitor the activity of 1,000 neurons.
The system has been tested on a monkey that was able to control a computer with its brain, according to MrMusk. The firm said it wanted to focus on patients with severe neurological conditions. But ultimately Musk envisions a future of “superhuman cognition”.
This is exciting news for those that work in the digital field as this means several new ways of accessing and displaying information on screens and increased work productivity. Imagine working on several screens and being able to control them using your mind.
Though with these benefits also come questions as to the potential ramifications of such a device.Who owns your brain data? How is your brain protected? How does the device interpret intrusive, unwanted, or irrelevant thoughts?
If Musk’s vision for the future does come to light, it would basically be necessary to have this chip inserted into your brain. Those that don’t will fall behind the evolutionary pecking order. Eventually everything will be displayed on screens and therefore the world around us will be controlled by Neuralink.
However, as technology and screentime becomes more and more common our innate need for the natural world will persevere. People are experiencing the outdoors more than ever, realising that balance is essential when surrounded by so many digital frequencies. Spiritual practices such as meditation and yoga are also becoming more widely adopted in order to silence the ever increasing mental noise fuelled by our phones and the internet.
Neuralink signals a new stage in evolution for us that fuses both tech science with consciousness. One that brings a vast array of benefits and exciting prospects but also poses many questions as to how far are we willing to go in order to evolve and ultimately thrive as a race?