“Famously, there aren’t enough atoms in the universe to build a full model of what every cell is doing [in the brain]. It’s a theoretically intractable problem, you can’t even conceive of a computer large enough because there isn’t enough material in the universe to make it.” We sometimes feel overwhelmed at how small we are in the vastness of the universe. But it appears that as vast as the universe is, your brain is vaster still. That is to say, you are vaster still.
Elon Musk, our real-life Tony Stark, plans to announce this week the progress of his company Neuralink, which is dedicated to developing a Body Machine Interface (BMI); specifically, implanting a computer connection into the human brain.
Musk has described how robotic surgery will sew ultra-fine filaments into the cerebral cortex, which will be able to “stream full broadband electrophysiology data” into a computer, whereupon a “single USB-C cable provides full-bandwidth data streaming from the device.”
So reports Claudia Glover, in Computer Business Review, in her article Your Brain, With a USB Port in It: Elon Musk’s Neuralink Vision Divides Experts.
In this early stage of development, Musk hopes that such a Body Machine Interface will be helpful in brain research and that the technology might enable disabled individuals to operate computers simply by their mental activity. But he has far greater ambitions. He started the project because of his fears of Artificial Intelligence developing to the point that computers might develop consciousness, exceed the powers of the human mind, and take over–or possibly extinguish–the human race. He plans for his BMI technology to enable humans to themselves draw on this coming mega-intelligence so that the human race will be the ones attaining super-human power.
A nearer-term dream is to form a “neural network” connecting the minds of all human beings so that we can communicate our thoughts to each other directly, making language obsolete. As Glover reports,
The ambitions of those working closely on BMI include, for some, the hope that technology could eventually to be used to connect the human race via a bona fide “neural network”; allowing people to communicate using thoughts and images rather than words, and even give over their motor function to others, with their consent*. The ideas behind this have their roots in a dizzying transhumanism. . . .