Elon Musk's Neuralink Ready for Human Testing

    Photo: Getty Images [via The Economic Times]

    The Facts

    • Elon Musk announced on Wednesday that his startup, Neuralink Corp., should be ready to test its brain implant technology on humans within the next six months.

    • Neuralink hopes the implant devices will restore vision, as well as the ability to move and communicate in people with severe disabilities, by decoding brain activity. In the future, Neuralink aims to open facilities where robot surgeons will implant the devices.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Musk's futurist vision of humans is dangerous and reckless. Previously, he has been afraid of the idea of deep artificial intelligence — now he's taking a sharp turn toward the merging of humans and AI. This venture is likely to benefit the privileged at the higher and more professional levels of society, ultimately putting democracy at risk.

    Narrative B

    Neuralink is a well-funded and legitimate venture and those with disabilities should follow the company's success closely. The brain implant mission will be transformative for humans on the fronts of both medicine and artificial intelligence. Musk sees a future where the limitations of the human body and the human mind can be overcome to expose the full potential of humanity and propel society forward toward greatness.

    Cynical narrative

    Musk says he wants to test his brain implants on humans in six months. Don't trust his word. Historically, he has been lousy with deadlines. He previously said he wanted to test in humans in 2022, but that isn't happening. In 2011, he said he wanted to put people in space within three years, and the first manned SpaceX mission didn't occur until 2020. His failure to retain qualified staff in important positions doesn't bode well for his six-month goal, so this issue may be farther off in the future than it seems.

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    Elon Musk

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