Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.
Elon Musk has promised to demonstrate a functional brain-computer interface that his mysterious Neuralink startup is developing to merge humans with artificial intelligence.
It is only the second public event of the neurotechnology startup since it was founded in 2016 and little is known about what capabilities to expect.
During a 2019 event, Mr Musk unveiled a “sewing machine-like device” capable of stitching threads into a person’s head, and has since hinted at what the brain-computer chip will ultimately be able to do.
In a series of tweets in July, the billionaire entrepreneur said it could “extend the range of hearing beyond normal frequencies,” allow wearers to stream music directly to their brain, and even deliver “enhanced abilities” like improved reasoning.
Neuralink is live streaming the event on its official YouTube channel – you can watch it here from 3pm PT (11pm BST).
You can follow all the latest build-up and news as it happens through our live blog.
The delay doesn’t seem to have put people off. There’s now more than 100,000 people waiting on the live stream to begin.
20 minutes now and still no sign of Musk or anyone at Neuralink. For anyone following this in Europe, it’s getting pretty late…
Still waiting for the event to begin. It’s not uncommon for such events to be a few minutes behind schedule.
With so many commitments, it’s not surprising that his live events don’t always go to plan. It is less than a year since this happened at the unveiling of the Tesla Cybertruck. I dread to think what the equivalent mishap would be for a brain-computer chip unveiling.
As the boss of SpaceX, Tesla, and tunnel-digging startup The Boring Company, Elon Musk has a lot to juggle. Neuralink is by far the most mysterious and arguably the most ambitious of all his ventures, aiming to help humans compete with advanced artificial intelligence – and not become their pets.
He has often described AI as the biggest existential threat to humanity, and in 2014 – two years before he founded Neuralink – he said: “There have been movies about this, you know, like Terminator. There are some scary outcomes. And we should try to make sure the outcomes are good, not bad.”
It’s unlikely we’re going to see anything anywhere near a consumer device today. This from Elon Musk a couple of hours ago:
In that same event, Neuralink unveiled a robot that would perform the operation to link a human brain to a computer. Musk described it as a “sewing machine-like device.”
Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment.
The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates.
World news – CA – Live updates as Elon Musk unveils working brain-computer chip