Neuralink, Elon Musk's brain-computer biz, unveils pig with computer chip implanted inside brain

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/08/28/neuralink-elon-musks-brain.html

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Is he likening his own company’s technology to a TV series about dystopian tech-enabled nightmare scenarios? Or is he just bragging that he could probably compel the Prime Minister to fuck that pig if he really wanted to?

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“Non-consenual, conceptual telepathy” is another phrase Musk mentions, along with the ability to see bloodstains. Great.

Actually he said “Consensual, conceptual telepathy”. (At 1:04:30ish)

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I’m guessing Elon’s medical ethics board is a party of one.

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I see that the Elongated Muskrat has stopped making reference to The Culture novels when his research is very obviously inspired by them. Perhaps he read to the end of one of them, and found out that in those books, rich narcissistic control-freaks are the bad guys, and usually find unpleasant fates.

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Haha you think you have the rights to your own memories? Just wait til the rent seekers wrap their heads around this.

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EBEs
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A lot of people don’t like Musk, but a working machine-brain interface could be an absolute game changer in many fields, much like several of Musk’s other ventures.

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Anyone know how this demonstration compares to existing work in the area?

It was my understanding that it was already possible to do some fairly impressive tricks (I’m not sure if this is the one I first saw, I don’t think it has as many figures as I remember, but [here’s snagging frames out of a cat’s visual cortex](https://www.jneurosci.org/content/jneuro/19/18/8036.full.pdf 20 years ago) with electrodes in the nervous system so long as you aren’t unduly worried about long term viability, scarring, etc.; which is what has helped keep human applications pretty limited and mostly reserved for situations dire enough that long term viability isn’t really at the top of the list.

How does this one break down between ‘actual novel demonstration’ and ‘sure, as long as you don’t need the animal model to last longer than the study that’s not really new’?

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There are other companies further along…

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Holy shit!

Can you say Limetown?!?!

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Agreed. He’s certainly seems to have gone off the rails lately but going back 5 years or so I was super impressed not just by the forward thinking of each his various main ventures (Tesla, space x, Solar batteries) but how INTERRELATED they were. The solar work with the batteries fed perfectly into the electric cars. The “auto-pilot” AI work fed from the cars into the space station docking, and long term they could all ultimately feed into an off world colony.
Maybe the neuralink also fits somehow into negotiating the extended time frame of off-world colonization. Who knows? But I’ll still say his overall vision is pretty astounding - even if he’s turning out (perhaps unsurprisingly) to not be the altruistic genius he was originally portraying.

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And he doesn’t mean that as a critique.

Nothing has changed. Nothing he’s done has revolutionized shit. And he tortured an animal. But hey, it SOUNDS cool and SCI-FI, so that’s okay then.

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Not my area of research, but I am aware of some pretty amazing neuroscience work from Steve Ramirez and the late Xu Liu related to the ability to identify and transfer discrete memories in vitro from one organism to another – as in Total Recall and Inception kind of stuff (but obviously extremely limited at this point).

Here’s the mainstream writeup:

The world lost an amazing mind with the untimely death of Xu Liu…

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The robotic brain surgery system described in the article looks pretty awesome to me. Patients die when their conditions are inoperable, and the ability to reach into the brain with great precision is of significant value.

I had a kidney removed a month ago by robotic surgery. I walked out of the hospital the next day, admittedly feeling very stiff and sore.

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Death defines life.

I suspect that humans were involved in some capacity. I’m very happy you’re alive and kicking.

Most surgeries are either out-patient or next day. It has little to do with robotics and more to do with saving money for the for-profit institutions that deal with health care.

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Robotic surgeons are essentially teleoperation systems. The surgeon sits at a workstation across the room and operates the machine.

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Yes. The surgeon is critical, a human being who spent their time studying the human body in order to save lives. :woman_shrugging: I don’t understand why so many people are so eager to throw the hard-fought struggle for human knowledge out the window?

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Well I don’t think we should do that. Having a surgeon use a robot is like having geologists work through a robot when studying mars. It safer for both the geologist and for the planet under study.

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Well, except we have… what, well over a century or more of hands on experience on the human body? Probably more than that? Not a single human being has been to mars, though.

I’m not arguing against robotics entirely. I’m arguing that robotics will probably never be what we’ve expected it to be? We’ll probably never replicate the amazing and intricate computer that rests in our heads, which I think is what most people think of when we think of robotics.

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