The Elon Musk implant company Neuralink aims to merge humanity with artificial intelligence. Once a figment of science fiction, the brain implant microchips may actually find their way inside humans as early as next year.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, owner Elon Musk confirmed the company's goal to start human implants in 2022. However, as with most Musk technology, it might not actually hit that proposed goal.
Will Neuralink implant humans in 2022?
Billionaire Elon Musk explained that he is “increasingly confident” that humans will be implanted next year. On the other hand, Musk claimed that he doesn't want to “raise hopes unreasonably” that the technology will actually launch.
The first-wave version of Neuralink is not the computer-interfacing augmentation for everyone that people often believe it to be. First and foremost, the technology is an accessibility tool for tetraplegics and quadriplegics. The tech is designed to restore bodily functions to those with spinal trauma.
Musk told The Wall Street Journal:
“I think we have a chance with Neuralink to restore full-body functionality to someone who has a spinal cord injury. I don’t want to raise hopes unreasonably, but I’m increasingly convinced that this could be done.”
The start of something new
Brain implant technology still has a ways to go before it becomes the sci-fi augmentation it’s been hyped as. Additionally, the technology still needs to be vastly improved before it can restore bodily functions to those with spinal injuries.
However, Musk claims that the technology will help disabled individuals interface with technology in ways they couldn't before. For example, the billionaire claims that first-gen implants will “enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs”.
It’s a goal of later generations to enable “paraplegic to walk again”. Of course, we have no idea how long it will take for Neuralink to get that stage. Nevertheless, it's a worthy goal for the future to restore movement in others.