Tesla and SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk has claimed he is just a “few months” away from a major announcement about a device which will fuse the human brain with artificial intelligence (AI).
The eccentric billionaire, who has been the source of a host of controversies over the the past few months, said his Neuralink project would produce “superhuman cognition” and that it would make a major announcement soon.
“I think [Neuralink will] have something interesting to announce in a few months that’s at least an order of magnitude better than anything else, probably better than anyone thinks is possible,” he said in a live interview on Friday, during which he smoked marijuana and drank whisky.
Tesla’s stocks crashed by 10 per cent on Friday after Musk’s interview, on a podcast hosted by American comedian Joe Rogan, was released. Two of the car maker’s senior executives quit the company in the aftermath of its broadcast – including head of accounting Dave Morton, who had joined just one month ago.
Musk has recently rocked Tesla’s reputation – and his own – through a series of controversial social media: including spooking investors by saying he would take the car company private, and alleging that a British diver involved in the Thai cave rescue that took place in July is a paedophile.
As the smoke cleared from Friday’s interview, close watchers of the eccentric chief executive seized on brief comments he made about Neuralink.
Musk previously announced the AI side-project last year, but has spoken little about it since. He has warned about the potential dangers of AI for some time, speaking of the dangers of sentient computers.
It is unclear what form the proposed device will take. Musk claimed human beings have already become “cyborgs” due to continuous interaction with smartphones, and said Neuralink could expand that level of information input. He said the device “will enable anyone who wants to, to have superhuman cognition.”
“Let's say billions of people do it,” he added, “the outcome for humanity will be the sum of human will.”