Date
12 November 2019
Neuralink is researching on different kinds of brain interfaces in order to detect signals from hundreds of thousands of neural cells and put the data in deep-learning algorithms. Photo: Xinhua
Neuralink is researching on different kinds of brain interfaces in order to detect signals from hundreds of thousands of neural cells and put the data in deep-learning algorithms. Photo: Xinhua

Connecting the human brain to AI

Two years ago, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk founded Neuralink Corporation, a tech startup that aims to build implants that connect the human brain to artificial intelligence systems.

Some former Neuralink employees revealed that the company was working on implanting chips to record the activities of nerve cells in real-time. But the specific applications remain a myth.

Founding members of Neuralink have told MIT Technology Review that the technology is more suitable for basic research on animals and it’s still too early for implants in human brains.

The plan is to implant several hundred very thin threads deep within a person’s brain tissue, where it will be capable of performing reading and writing operations at a very high data volume. But the problem is that over a period of time, these devices could damage surrounding brain tissues and thus stop working.

The founding team is researching on different kinds of brain interfaces in order to detect signals from hundreds of thousands of neural cells and put the data in deep-learning algorithms.

If they succeed, the secrets of the human brain can be unlocked.

I can’t help but wonder if one day we succeed in connecting the human brain to AI, will that good or bad news?

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 31

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China, former head of the data committee and vice president at Alibaba Group.