Is Neuralink the End for Humans?
By Ben Udink / Cyberror
Elon Musk. A man of many, many endeavours. He started Paypal, sold that to then go on and make things such as SpaceX, The Boring Company and Tesla.
He has ambitions to colonize mars by reducing space transportation costs drastically. While he does all this he has a multitude of side projects that could change the way we live drastically. An example of this is the fact he wants to build a huge tunnel system under LA where cars would be put onto a railway like system. They will then move at a really fast speed to their destination. This will decrease the traffic on the roads massively, therefore, increasing productivity.
His next project is one that will have a lasting impact on the human race, arguably more so than the colonization of mars would have. They call it the Neuralink.
What Is Neuralink?
Taken straight from their own website the neuralink is an:
ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interface to connect humans and computers
What exactly does this mean then? It is essentially a small chip that will be a brain implant. The way they aim to put it into the human brain is to drill a small hole into your skull. The size of this singular hole is roughly an inch in diameter and the device would completely fill the gap. Threads will then be put into the corresponding parts of people's brains that is required for what needs to be done.
To make it all even more futuristic they decided to make a small, surgical robot to do the whole procedure for them on each human.
The reason that they need this is mainly because the threads need to be put in with extreme accuracy that humans aren't capable of. Especially considering the size of the threats ( which is 4 to 6 μm in width.)
What Does It Do?
The first target for this new device is to be able to fix people who have problems that previously were seen as impossible to fix. If you're blind, it will be able to make you see again or even for the first time. If you're deaf you will be able to hear the sweet sounds of music you have been missing all of your life.
You might be one of the many paralyzed patients suffering from a condition such as Motor neuron disease rendering you unable to control and move the body you were born with. Well, the Neuralink will give you that freedom to do the things that so many of us take for granted on a daily basis.
Or you might be a patient with one of the many brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease will be able to be cured thanks to the fact that the Neuralink will be able to restore memories that are fragmented and lost. Currently, no technology or medicine can do anything remotely similar to this brain chip that can help stop that tragic fate that Alzheimer patients and their family endure.
If you're epileptic then this is also potentially a lifesaver for you. Through brain signals It will be able to detect before you have a seizure and stop it from happening in the first place. It does a similar thing with people who have suffered from a stroke being able to completely reverse the damage that it does to you. For example, it will be able to give you back the ability to speak.
While this is a more dangerous prospect – It could edit past bad memories. So if you're suffering from something such as PTSD then it will be able to help you forget the events that cause it. We could see this used on war veterans to help them cope with readjusting to civilian life.
All of this stuff is clearly groundbreaking and if we got told that we could have all this without something getting implanted into our brains to alter your brain activity them I'm sure everyone would be ecstatic to have it.
The Other Benefits
Everything already mentioned is going to be life-changing for the people who suffer from each condition. This isn't just limited to those people though. The Neuralink will have even more benefits to the daily life of its users.
You will be able to with just a thought access all of the data that is currently on the internet. Want to know the answer to a tricky question at work? Just think the question and then you will know.
The implications of that are pretty surreal. Everyone will suddenly know everything and be equally as intelligent. Except, that simply isn't the case. I will cover that point a little later when we go over the downsides of the Neuralink.
Elon Musk himself recently said on an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience that we will be able to communicate without speaking verbally to each other. If person A has a Neuralink then (s)he can speak to person B who also has it by simply thinking.
When I said that this invention is going to be more influential than a project as gigantic as colonizing mars. Well, I said this because I believe that with the Neuralink, colonizing mars is something that will happen way quicker than any of us predict. Making the incredibly intelligent people at SpaceX even more intelligent is something that has obvious benefits.
Engineers will be able to control the advanced robotics with their thoughts alone. The scientists will be able to research significantly faster thanks to the information being readily available in their brain. The communication between divisions too will become streamlined thanks to the fact they wouldn't even need to be in the same room as each other.
The Terrifying Downsides
I'm sure the vast majority of people who read this article will agree that the above things are going to be an amazing advancement for the human race. It is never going to be as simple as that then. With every innovation, there has always been downsides. Some that are so catastrophic that it could spell out the death of the planet.
Think about the first industrial revolution that started with the United Kingdom in 1760. It made mass transportation and production a reality using machinery that at the time was groundbreaking. Factories first started getting used to make lots of different technology at an alarmingly fast rate during that era. The cost, however, is something that we are still dealing with today. The pollution caused by the factories drastically sped up global warming. The cars made thanks to the revolution too have improved our lives and we would never want them to go away. They can, after all, open up new job opportunities and let you go to places you've never been to before. This too, negatively affect the planets ozone layer. Funnily enough, Elon Musk is trying to fix that specific issue with Tesla.
In 1938, two German scientists by the names of Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann first split the atom. This lead to Nuclear Fission which ended up giving birth to the first nuclear power plant in the 1950s. Thanks to this feat, we moved to a new age. We use Nucueler energy to produce electricity. This accounts for 10% of the entire planets electricity.
It is also used for Radiotherapy, X-rays and even has use in agriculture.
The people who lived during the Cold War, were in Hiroshima or even living in Chernoyble when the plant exploded know exactly what the devastating impact that this innovation can cause.
The Neuralink is not going to be any different from the things above. Yes, it will bring forth a new age of human innovation and progress. Unfortunately, it will be at a cost.
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