Musk diving into minds while reaching for Mars (Update)

March 28, 2017
Elon Musk, pictured in 2015, referenced a new company called Neuralink in a tweet, promising to elaborate in a blog post

Not content to reach for Mars and dethrone fossil fuels, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk on Tuesday is turning his focus to delving into people's minds.

In a message fired off Tuesday on Twitter, Musk appeared to confirm he is creating a startup called Neuralink devoted to enabling brains to interface directly with computers, accessing processing power and perhaps even downloading memories for storage.

"Long Neuralink piece coming out on (blog platform) @waitbutwhy in about a week. Difficult to dedicate the time, but existential risk is too high not to," Musk tweeted.

The Twitter post by the founder of electric carmaker Tesla and exploration firm SpaceX came a day after a Wall Street Journal report saying the company had been formed.

The Journal reported that the new startup will focus on "neural lace" technology which involves implanting tiny brain electrodes capable of uploading and downloading thoughts.

The report said Musk may play a "significant leadership role" even as he runs two other large companies.

Musk has previously spoken about the idea of neural lacing, claiming it can magnify people's brain power by linking them directly to computing capabilities.

Battling evil

The risk that he referred to in his Twitter post was likely linked to his concern that artificial intelligence could become a threat to humans.

Musk not long ago found himself in the middle of a technology world controversy by holding firm that AI could turn on humanity and be its ruin instead of a salvation.

He took part in creating a nonprofit research company devoted to developing artificial intelligence that will help people and not hurt them.

Technology giants including Google, Apple and Microsoft have been investing in making machines smarter, contending the goal is to improve lives.

"If we create some digital super-intelligence that exceeds us in every way by a lot, it is very important that it be benign," Musk said last year at a conference in California.

He reasoned that even a benign situation with ultra-intelligent AI would put people so far beneath the machine they would be "like a house cat."

"I don't love the idea of being a house cat," Musk said, envisioning the creation of neural lacing that magnifies people's brain power by linking them directly to computing capabilities.

Tencent takes to Tesla

Considered one of Silicon Valley's most notable visionaries, Musk is the force behind Tesla, part of an effort to move the automotive industry away from fossil fuels to electric propulsion.

In a separate announcement Tuesday, Tesla confirmed China's giant Tencent Holdings has taken a five percent stake in the electric car company as it moves to ramp up production.

Tencent paid about $1.8 billion for the small share of Musk's company, according to the document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Chinese technology company runs WeChat, the world's most popular messaging service, as well as many mobile game platforms.

"Tencent has smartly realized the Tesla's Industry creation potential," Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry said in a note to investors.

Tesla early in March announced plans to raise $1.15 billion in new funding to help fuel production of a mass market-targeted Model 3 electric car set for release this year.

The company forecast in February that demand for its cars would show strong growth in the first half of this year, as orders for some models hit a record high, even while posting a loss at the end of last year.

Tesla in January launched a "Gigafactory" with Panasonic to mass produce the lithium-ion battery cells used in energy storage products and the Model 3, which is priced at a moderate $35,000.

Musk also runs SpaceX, maker and launcher of rockets and spacecraft, which recently announced plans to send two private citizens around the Moon in what would mark the farthest humans have ever traveled to deep space since the 1970s.

Musk lives in Los Angeles and holds US, Canadian and South African citizenship.

Explore further: Elon Musk: tech dreamer reaching for sun, moon and stars

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12 comments

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Steve 200mph Cruiz
5 / 5 (1) Mar 28, 2017
Does it require a case sensitive password at least 8 characters long?
rderkis
1 / 5 (1) Mar 28, 2017
Sure wish they would develop nootropics soon and first(chemically or genetically). Imagine what boosting the whole world's population by just 10% would do for mankind.
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (2) Mar 28, 2017
The Journal reported that the new startup will focus on "neural lace" technology which involves implanting tiny brain electrodes capable of uploading and downloading thoughts.
and no one thinks this might be a problem?

dustywells
5 / 5 (1) Mar 28, 2017
"and no one thinks this might be a problem?"

It would lead to more reliable communication.

And expose trolls and sock puppets. LOL
rderkis
5 / 5 (2) Mar 28, 2017
"and no one thinks this might be a problem?"


And just to show us your not just a pessimist in all things. Please tell us some of the good technologies that are on their way.
434a
5 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2017
NSA advisor: Good morning Mr President, congratulations on your victory, now if you wouldn't mind we need to switch off you Neural Lace.
President: Why would you need to do that?
NSA advisor: Well, you know that nice Mr Musk said it was unhackable...he was being..economical with the truth.
President: He lied?
NSA advisor: Well not exactly lied sir; we told him if his Mars mission didn't want "a very public and very nasty accident" he'd let us have a backdoor.
President: A back door?
NSA advisor: Yes sir...you remember when the Russian president appeared in Red square..on national TV...naked..with that sheep...
President: As if I could forget.
NSA advisor: We kind of did that to him...
President: Where's the scalpel?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2017
I think it will increase self confidence and assertiveness
https://youtu.be/yj3Fpc3leyk

-And give us more time with pets
rderkis
1 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2017
TV...naked..with that sheep...


And besides being a bully and trying to make fun of other people at their expense, just why have you shared your fantasy hallucinations?
rderkis
not rated yet Mar 29, 2017
I think it will increase self confidence and assertiveness

When I tried to follow your link, I just came up with a warning that it was just trash.
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2017
It would lead to more reliable communication.

And expose trolls and sock puppets. LOL
@dusty
absolutely true... but we already have very reliable ways to do this while maintaining some semblance of privacy (intentionally worded)

it just stands to reason that unless there is an un-hackable connection there is a threat

and the first thing you learn about security in computers, as well as communication, is that nothing is un-hackable and there is always a way for something to be misinterpreted
Osiris1
not rated yet Mar 31, 2017
Musk to us: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE, YOUR THOUGHTS AND TECHNOLOGIES AND VALUES ALL ARE ADDED TO OUR OWN. WE ARE THE BORG!
////// Every step you take....Every MOVE you make....WWE OWN YOU and control you!! ////////
If it can read, download, etc with thoughts then it can plant thoughts and influence actions. That said, we will all become the functional equivalent of the Star Trek Borg.
In a way we will all become slave automatons and subject to the whim of whoever is the puppet master over the central servers. With no will, we can be made to work till we drop, eat sewage, murder, assault, steal...any kind of crimes. Would say until we get caught, but the police will be controlled as well, so anything we do is a kind of government official act that just maybe the controllers will use a BIG LIE to get away with.... Like : "Some part of the host survives..." to blame the human hosting the Borg elements for the actions of the civilian/govt. No wonder China LOVES Musk
rderkis
not rated yet Mar 31, 2017
Musk to us: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE,


I pretty much agree with what you said but what is really futile is screaming "The Sky Is Falling, THE SKY IS FALLING!"

BTW Elon Musk Compares Building Artificial Intelligence To "Summoning The Demon"
https://techcrunc...e-demon/

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