GS Paper - 3 (Science and Technology)

The billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s brain chip startup Neuralink is preparing to launch clinical trials in humans. Musk, who co-founded Neuralink in 2016, has promised that the technology “will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs”.

What

  1. The company which has already successfully implanted artificial intelligence microchips in the brains of a macaque monkey named Pager and a pig named Gertrude, is now recruiting for a “clinical trial director” to run tests of the technology in humans.
  2. The device would be “implanted flush with skull & charges wirelessly, so you look and feel totally normal”.
  3. Neuralink has previously released a video of a monkey that had been implanted with the chip playing the video game Pong using only its mind.
  4. The main aim of the Neuralink project is to provide a direct connection between a brain and a computer to overcome the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), using a "sewing machine-like" device to stitch threads to an implanted brain chip.
  5. Neuralink's brain chip technology would allow people to stream music into their brains effortlessly.
  6. The chip would be able to control hormone levels, which would have the potential to help with anxiety relief, among other things.
  7. Musk has often criticised the over-reliance on AI and the potential danger it poses.
  8. He recently claimed that AI will be "vastly smarter" than any human and would overtake us by 2025.