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Human Brain

Some e-brief readers have asked for my opinion on Elon Musk’s new venture called Neuralink. First I will confess my bias. I think Elon Musk is one of the smartest people on Earth. After I read his biography, I ordered a Tesla Model S, and am glad I did. What he is doing with SpaceX and Solar Cities is amazing too. From my point of view, he represents the future of humankind. His newest venture is called Neuralink. The new venture has to do with connecting the human brain to the cloud, literally and physically. It is a shocking science fiction idea to many, but a reality to others, including me.

I am currently reading a huge book called Alexander Hamilton. If he could somehow come to the present and hear the vision of Neuralink, he might possibly drop dead in shock. Many from the current tine are horrified at the possibilities which Neuralink will make real. While there are scary aspects of connecting our brains to the outside world, there are many possibilities which are good. Humans already have chips implanted in our brains. They are not prevalent, but chips in the brain can provide stimulation to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Trials are beginning to see if a chip in the brain can restore vision to the blind. Cochlear implants can enhance hearing. Connecting human brains to the outside world will not seem unusual at some point.

A major benefit, and where the early focus will be, is in restoring lost function for people with disabilities. Brain injuries can result from stroke or trauma. Paraplegics and quadriplegics may benefit from enhanced brain connections. The largest area from a restoration point of view may be those with cognitive impairment. Being able to connect to the brain may provide a way to enhance memory.

What I know is the advancement of technology is not stoppable. Researchers and entrepreneurs have an appetite to break new ground and exploit the future. It may not always seem pretty, but it is going to happen. Tim Urban writes about the future at Wait But Why. His stories are not short posts like mine. His latest about Neuralink is nearly 40,000 words. It took me a long time to read it, but it was worth it. If the topic is of interest, I highly recommend it. If not, keep reading johnpatrick.com and tell your friends about it.