Billionaire Elon Musk yesterday revealed plans to develop technology to allow human brains to connect with computers.
Secretive “brain-machine interface” firm Neuralink was founded in 2017 to fight the “existential threat” of artificial intelligence developing further than humans.
At an event in California last night Musk said the invention could ultimately give humans the “option of merging with AI” by implanting a chip into the brain.
However, in the meantime, the technology could be used to treat neurological health problems such as paralysis and Parkinson’s.
The company said it hopes to begin testing the product on humans by the end of next year following FDA approval.
Musk said the system has already been tested on a monkey that was able to control a computer with its brain.
“I think this is going to be important at a civilisation-wide scale,” Musk said.
“Even under a benign AI, we will be left behind. With a high bandwidth brain-machine interface, we will have the option to go along for the ride.”
The device is a small chip containing more than 3,000 electrodes attached to thin threads which then monitor 1,000 neurons.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning will create computers so sophisticated and godlike that humans will need to implant “neural laces” in their brains to keep up, Musk said in a tech conference in 2016, before he established the company.