Will we be able to control computers with our brains?
By Joe Harker
Tech billionaire Elon Musk has developed a neural link that could allow people to use computers without needing to type or move a mouse.
His company Neuralink has developed a neural link (oh, so that's why it's called that) that can be surgically implanted in the skull which could be hooked up to technological devices.
Is this the next step in progress or are we flying a little too close to the sun on this one?
Musk announced that Neuralink has succeeded in getting a monkey to control a computer with their brain and human testing will begin in 2020.
If successful it would establish a direct link between the human brain and a computer, allowing a person to operate the computer with their mind alone.
The technology is initially intended for people suffering from paralysis so they can use computers with their minds even if their body is not able.
This sounds like something right out of science fiction but the technology could be incredibly close to becoming available.
Neuralink's devices have worked on mice and monkeys, the next step would be to determine whether a human being could use it.
The Counter Claim:
Hold on a minute, having computer chips inserted into our brains? That's going a bit far and would set a dangerous precedent for upgrading human bodies.
Writing in The Guardian, Stephen Greenblatt reckons we ought to keep our "biological flaws" and beware tech giants bearing gifts that need to be implanted into the brain.
Yes, this sounds like it's right out of science fiction but that's not always a good thing. Perhaps we're so preoccupied with whether we can put chips in our brains that we're not fully considering whether we ought to.
Once you start trying to upgrade the human body it opens up new dangers and possibilities, opportunities for exploitation. Where exactly is the line drawn.
Besides, having holes drilled into one's head and technology stuffed in there doesn't exactly sound like the best idea.
Written off as impossible, Neuralink's technology will be a slow and difficult path before it reaps the results people might be expecting of it.
It's ready for surgical implantation but apparently takes a while for the brain to get the hang of, like touch typing or playing the piano.
Musk sees the endgoal of neural link technology as a merger with artificial intelligence, warning that AI will overtake humanity at some point unless we can find some synthesis.
I might hold off until they're selling robot eyes and I can stop wearing contact lenses.