Elon Musk is making implants to link the brain with a smartphone
Elon Musk wants to insert Bluetooth-enabled implants into your brain, claiming the devices could enable telepathy and repair motor function in people with injuries.
Speaking on Tuesday, the CEO of Tesla (TSLA) and SpaceX said his Neuralink devices will consist of a tiny chip connected to 1,000 wires measuring one-tenth the width of a human hair.
The chip features a USB-C port, the same adapter used by Apple's (AAPL) Macbooks, and connects via Bluebooth to a small computer worn over the ear and to a smartphone, Musk said.
"If you're going to stick something in a brain, you want it not to be large," Musk said, playing up the device's diminutive size.
Neuralink, a startup founded by Musk, says the devices can be used by those seeking a memory boost or by stroke victims, cancer patients, quadriplegics or others with congenital defects.
The company says up to 10 units can be placed in a patient's brain. The chips will connect to an iPhone app that the user can control.
The devices will be installed by a robot built by the startup. Musk said the robot, when operated by a surgeon, will drill 2 millimeter holes in a person's skull. The chip part of the device will plug the hole in the patient's skull.
"The interface to the chip is wireless, so you have no wires poking out of your head. That's very important," Musk added.
Trials could start before the end of 2020, Musk said, likening the procedure to Lasik eye correction surgery, which requires local anesthetic.
Musk has said this latest project is an attempt to use artificial intelligence (AI) to have a positive effect on humanity. He has previously tried to draw attention to AI's potential to harm humans.
He has invested some $100 million in San Francisco-based Neuralink, according to the New York Times.
Musk's plan to develop human computer implants comes on the heels of similar efforts by Google (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB). But critics aren't so sure customers should trust tech companies with data ported directly from the brain.
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Is a breach in privacy data the only reason we should we concerned? The idea of a chip will not come as a surprise to believers. However, this particular chip is targeting those in emotional and potentially desperate situations. Do you think that offering this to those who are stroke victims, cancer patients, quadriplegics or others with congenital defects, will leave individuals (and in some cases families) with a difficult decision? Share your thoughts below!