'Neural lace' technology could theoretically provide a direct connection between a human brain and future computing platforms.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has reportedly launched yet another startup, Neuralink, that aims to develop technology that can directly interface the human brain with electronic computers.
The ambitious executive has publicly expressed interest in such technology, The startup was created quietly, however, until it was outlined in a recent Wall Street Journal story citing sources familiar with the matter.
"Long Neuralink piece coming out on @waitbutwhy in about a week," Musk wrote in a Twitter post, apparently confirming the WSJ story. "Difficult to dedicate the time, but existential risk is too high not to."
Futurists have focused on how 'neural lace' technology might help boost brain power once artificial intelligence begins to pull away from the human mind, but Neuralink will instead focus its efforts on using brain-machine interfaces to treat certain medical conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinsons.
The medical-focused strategy overcomes an ethical issue that discourages dangerous invasive brain surgery for mere cognitive enhancement. Treating debilitating diseases provides a potential path to proving the safety and efficacy of such technology, clearing the path for broader experimentation.
"Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence," Musk recently said at the World Government Summit in Dubai, as quoted by CNBC. "It's mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output."
The executive appears to believe integration with ever-more-powerful computing platforms is the next step in human evolution. He has also warned that an AI system that is 'smarter' than any human presents a potential threat that should not be taken lightly.