Elon Musk announced that his Neuralink startup will begin testing a brain-computer interface on humans by next year.
Speaking at a presentation in San Francisco, California, Musk said that the company had developed a way to connect thousands of electric probes on the human brain to a specialised device worn behind the ear.
The initial applications of this technology would be to help people with spinal cord injuries and other central nervous system-related problems regain some mobility, but will eventually be used to connect human brains directly with artificial intelligence.
“We can do full brain-machine interfaces where we can achieve a sort of symbiosis with AI,” Musk said.
Once it has been implemented, the Neuralink electrodes and ASIC chips which control them will connect to a detachable and upgradeable pod worn behind the ear, which Musk said would connect wirelessly to your smartphone.
Musk said he hopes to have the initial iteration of the Neuralink technology in a human patient by the end of this year, although he noted that obtaining approval from the relevant regulators could be difficult.