Elon Musk Presents Pig Implanted With His New Neuralink Brain Chip
Elon Musk has revealed new details on his new Neuralink brain chip, describing the device as 'kind of like a Fitbit in your skull' - and even presented a pig whose brain had been implanted with the device.
Introducing Gertrude to the viewers, Musk said: "We have a healthy and happy pig, initially shy but obviously high energy and, you know, kind of loving life, and she's had the implant for two months."
As Gertrude snuffles around her pen in the above clip, a series of beeping sounds can be heard, which are revealed to be real-time signals from the coin-sized brain-computer interface.
During the presentation, Musk took the time to answer audience questions, with one person asking whether the technology could eventually allow users to save and replay memories.
Musk replied with an answer that you're probably already thinking - drawing comparisons to the Charlie Brooker's dystopian drama Charlie Brooker's dystopian drama Black Mirror.
"Yes, I think in the future you'll be able to save and replay memories," he said.
"I mean, this is obviously sounding increasingly like a Black Mirror episode. But... well, I guess they're pretty good at predicting."
The multibillionaire went on to say: "Essentially, if you have a whole brain interface, everything that's encoded in memory you could upload.
"You could basically store your memories as a backup and restore the memories. Then ultimately you could potentially download them into a new body or into a robot body.
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"The future's going to be weird."
Damn straight, it is.
The start-up's head neurosurgeon Matthew MacDougall spoke at the presentation to say that the company has so far only implanted the chip into the brain's cortical surface.
However, in the future they're hoping to go deeper into areas such as the hypothalamus, which is believed to play a crucial role in mental illnesses.
This reflects an earlier statement in which Musk said the device could be used to retrain the part of the brain responsible for causing addiction, depression or anxiety.
In last night's conference, the entrepreneur added: "You could solve blindness, you could solve paralysis, you could solve hearing - you can solve a lot just by interfacing with the cortex."
And in true Musk style, he dropped a little mischievous quip: "It's kind of like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires.
"I could have a Neuralink right now and you wouldn't even know. Maybe I do."
There's no news so far on when the technology will be made commercially available, but when it does, it's not going to cost you an arm and a leg... relatively speaking. Musk explained: "At first it's going to be quite expensive but that will rapidly drop. I think we want to get the price down to a few thousand dollars."