Neuralink: The Purpose of it and Security Issue

Probably most of us heard about ‘Neuralink’ which was founded in 2016, and it is Musk’s neural technology company that’s developing an implant designed to interface directly with the human brain. Last week, on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Elon Musk mentioned that there is a possibility to put Neuralink implant in a person within a year.

Short Brief About Neuralink

Neuralink Corporation is an American neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk and others, developing implantable brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). The company’s headquarters are in San Francisco; it was started in 2016 and was first publicly reported in March 2017.

First, let’s try to understand the brain-computer interface. Understanding how the brain works are a really significant area and after understanding scientists can measure how different areas communicate with one another. Brain-computer interfaces measure brain activity and based on data extracted from the activities it helps to solve issues if there is any. The issues might be related to speaking, moving, controlling body… etc and thanks to BCI, those issues may be restored. Of course, I am not a scientist but according to articles and research, BCIs mostly used electrical signals and there are hierarchical processes.

If I turn to the Neuralink… It is so cool to know is that a device will let us control computers and phones with our brain; basically we will be connecting with the tech tools. Also, in the long run, it will help with mental issues such as depression, anxiety… etc.

Let me be more clear about it. As we know, artificial intelligence is in every area and now we are talking about the relationship between AI and Neuralink. It makes me so excited, just remember your childhood and cartoons that you watched. Many things were a dream and phantasy. Also, remember what your parents or relatives said about the first television. They could not believe that it was real. Technology has developed and continues to develop day by day, that is why this kind of important step is creating many questions in my mind about what can be developed in the future. According to Musk, there are stages of developing Neuralink and in the short term and beginning, he hopes that it will help in order to solve neurologically issues such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine and Parkinson’s disease. In the second stage, the brain-machine interface is becoming an important goal to achieve. In the long-term, it is actually a dark scenario, artificial intelligence will be more powerful and surpass human intelligence.

If I take Alzheimer’s as an example, maybe we can get an idea of how can Neuralink help to prevent it. Alzheimer’s related to memory loss and everyone experiences memory loss at later ages. Statistics show that one in 85 people around the world is predicted to have it by 2050. About that Musk said something on the Led Fridman podcast is that Neuralink could be used to solve “critical damage to the brain or the spinal cord”, but his eventual goal is to merge human consciousness with AI. How can it help? The chip can help for switching the functions to rescue failing organs because first it will gather data and it means that it will access our memories and it could be used to boost memories as well.

What About Security?

We live in the tech world and which means everything can be hacked. For sure, if we talk about Neuralink, the security issue has to be under scrutiny and take consideration. Basically, according to the presentation of Neuralink, we know that it will be controlled by an iPhone app and which means is that Bluetooth will be used. Also, it is a known issue is that Bluetooth has a security problem. Therefore, Neuralink has to have the highest levels of encryption by Bluetooth.

On the other hand, secure passwords should not be weak because it might cause some problems. According to Whitescope and QED Secure Solutions, they could remotely disable an implantable insulin pump, as well as control the electrical impulses that are sent to the heart to regulate a patient’s heartbeat.

Summary

Of course, there is always a question: Do we really need to merge our brains with AI? Honestly, there are pros and cons as usual, but seeing how technology is developing is wonderful. And we need to remember is that if humans are aware of their limit, we will not need to be a worry.

References

https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-said-neuralink-could-solve-autism-and-schizophrenia-2019-11

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/brain-computer-interface

https://thenextweb.com/science/2019/07/17/elon-musks-neuralink-can-read-a-rats-brain/

https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-elon-musk-brain-chip-company-neuralink-2019-7#musk-and-colleagues-at-neuralink-went-into-far-far-more-detail-about-the-companys-plans-for-the-future-in-a-presentation-on-tuesday-night-that-you-can-watch-right-here-4

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