Last Friday Elon Musk showed off his neural implant chip for pigs, and expressed hope that one day people with silicon chips in their brains would be able to summon their Tesla automobile just by thinking about it.
You Musk be joking: A mind-reading Neuralink chip in a pig’s brain? Downloadable memories? Telepathy? Watch and judge for yourself
‘The future’s going to be weird’ says startup’s founder Elon
Sat 29 Aug 2020 // 00:52 UTC
Iain Thomson in San Francisco
Video In a late Friday evening reveal, Elon Musk updated the world on his Neuralink brain-to-computer interface startup, with the help of three little piggies. Specifically, his team revealed it has implanted a mind-reading gadget in a live pig’s brain.
The porcine test subjects were: a control animal; one who has had the implant in place for a couple of months; and another who had had one removed and looked healthy, presumably to reassure people who want to eventually wire a Neuralink gadget into their gray matter that the process is reversible.
As Gertrude, the pig with the coin-sized implant, walked around, ate things, broke wind, and did other things pigs do, what was said to be her brain activity appeared on a screen, revealing real-time neural network activity observed by Neuralink’s embedded tech.
Essentially, the plan is: you think a command, it’s detected as electrical signals by the Neuralink electronics fitted in your brain, and then wirelessly passed to a computer or some other device to interpret and obey. The system could also read your mind, help you overcome brain injuries, etc.
“You could store your memory as a backup and restore the memories or download them into a new body or a robot body. The future’s going to be weird,” Musk said in a web broadcast, embedded below. He added it was like having a “Fitbit in your skull.”
…Read more: https://www.theregister.com/2020/08/29/neuralink_pig_brain_interface/
The following is a video of Musk’s presentation;
Before you dismiss this as pure science fiction, there appear to be some remarkable things happening with neural interfaces, back in 2013 scientists claimed they could decode mental images, by training a MRI machine to recognise different neural firing patterns with a series of training images.
Scientists ‘read dreams’ using brain scans
By Rebecca MorelleScience reporter, BBC World Service
4 April 2013
Scientists have found a way to “read” dreams, a study suggests.
Researchers in Japan used MRI scans to reveal the images that people were seeing as they entered into an early stage of sleep.
Writing in the journal Science, they reported that they could do this with 60% accuracy.
The team now wants to see if brain activity can be used to decipher other aspects of dreaming, such as the emotions experienced during sleep.
Professor Yukiyasu Kamitani, from the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories, in Kyoto, said: “I had a strong belief that dream decoding should be possible at least for particular aspects of dreaming… I was not very surprised by the results, but excited.”
…Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-22031074
I do have one fairly major reservation about having a Musk chip implanted in my brain. Musk does not appear to be a trendsetter when it comes to quality control.
A lot of customers appear to complain about Tesla’s quality control and customer service. Obviously it is possible all of these problems eventually achieved a happy resolution. But the following article from Extreme Tech is unsettling;
Tesla Has Some Serious Quality Control Problems With the Model Y
By Joel Hruska on June 18, 2020 at 7:30 am
It’s not unusual for a car manufacturer to have difficulty ramping up production on a new model, but reports concerning Tesla’s Model Y suggest the manufacturer is having far more problems than is normal. The Model 3 may have been compared with a 1990s Kiawhen it launched, but at least a few people have gotten Model Y’s delivered to them without the backseat being attached to the frame of the car.
Reports of remarkably shoddy workmanship have been surfacing ever since Tesla restarted production of the Model Y at its California factory. Tesla has itself indirectly confirmed that the model is having problems, though it hasn’t officially responded to these most recent articles.
In an email to production employees last week, Musk made several references to Model Y production, writing: “It is extremely important for us to ramp up Model Y production and minimize rectification needs.” He thanks the production workers for “bearing with tough conditions,” and says they should be alleviated soon.
…Read more: https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/311842-tesla-is-having-major-quality-control-problems-with-the-model-y
As a tech nerd I love the idea science fiction technology like neural interfaces. But I don’t plan to be head of the queue when it comes to having a Musk chip implanted in my brain.