Pulse 80: High Bandwidth Brain Interfacing Coming Soon, Says Elon Musk

11 September 2018
Giulio Prisco

Elon Musk

In a recent appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast (yes, the same where he smoked weed), Elon Musk said that he will soon announce a Neuralink product that can make anyone superhuman by connecting their brains to a computer, CNBC reports.

Current brain interfacing technology allows a slow information flow between brains and machines, but Neuralink wants to make brain-computer interfaces (BCI) much faster. “We need to make that tiny straw like a giant river, a huge, high-bandwidth interface,” said Musk.

"I think we'll have something interesting to announce in a few months ... that's better than anyone thinks is possible," said Musk. "Best case scenario, we effectively merge with AI [Artificial Intelligence]."

In fact, the end-point of this technology is the fusion of organic and machine intelligence. Musk is known for his fear of runaway AIs exterminating humanity, and from this perspective merging with AIs seems a good strategy.

Musk is persuaded that his new high-performance brain-computer interfacing technology could bring about mind uploading - the transfer of a functioning human mind to an alternative computing substrate. "If your biological self dies, you can upload into a new unit,” said Musk. “Literally."

I agree with Musk’s long-term vision of mind uploading and human-machine fusion through high-speed BCI. Of course, this is not even an announcement but a pre-preannouncement, perhaps made in an artificially over-optimistic state, so we shouldn’t hold our breath quite yet.

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Toward understanding how genetic mutations drive metastatic cancer growth. Scientists at Stanford University and other collaborating institutions have arrived at a key understanding about how cancers in individual patients spread, or metastasize. A research paper published in Science shows that mutations that drive cancer growth are common among metastases in a single patient. The findings suggest that the same gene mutations are responsible for all metastases of a cancer patient, and targeting the mutations that lead to cancer metastatic growth could lead to more effective cancer therapies.

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