Wouldn't it be great if we could just remember everything? Everything we ever wanted to know would be just right up there, between our ears? Aah... no more late night mugging up chemical equations or the direction of winds in the Southern Hemisphere. Wouldn't life be fundamentally better if we had all this knowledge available in an instant?
Well that is exactly what Elon Musk is trying to achieve with his company, Neuralink. According to Wikipedia, "Neuralink Corporation is a neuro-technology company founded by Elon Musk and others, developing implantable brain-machine interfaces." Okay. Now we know the textbook definition of Neuralink. Let's decode it now!
Well firstly, what the hell does 'implantable brain-machine interface' mean? In simple words, a Brain Machine Interface (BMI) provides a direct communication route between the brain and a device. This allows us to perform procedures like researching and mapping cognitive functions that happen in the brain. And so basically, Musk & Co. is planning to develop some sort of a device, perhaps in the form of a computer chip, which can be inserted in our brains. That sounds questionable!
I'll admit - at first it doesn't sound so appealing that a multi-billionaire is preparing to install devices in our brain. But hold your horses! Let's see what's in it for us. Musk has remarked that the ultimate aim of this is to achieve "symbiosis with Artificial Intelligence" which, Musk believes, poses a danger to humanity's existence if it goes unchecked and unregulated. And so Neuralink might be a way around the barricade. This will enable us to download information right from the device into our brains, and consequently have vast amounts of knowledge available to us in a split second . Musk also aspired to use the "Link" to cure brain ailments such as depression, Dementia or paralysis. Such interfaces will also enable the person to move their prosthetic limbs.
While all this may sound 'the-next-century' stuff, it all boils down to how well the enterprise can convince the customers. And apart from a video to stir up excitement in the scientific community for luring scientists, there hasn't been much conclusive evidence from Neuralink's side that something like this is even humanely possible. But we never know what Mr. Musk might be capable of? As he said in a conference, "I could have a Neuralink right now and you wouldn't know it."