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Elon Musk shows off progress on brain-machine interface

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Futurist entrepreneur Elon Musk late Tuesday revealed his secretive Neuralink startup is making progress on an interface linking brains with computers, and said they hope to begin testing on people next year.

Musk has long contended that a neural lace meshing minds with machines is vital if people are going to avoid being so outpaced by artificial intelligence that, under the best of circumstances, humans would be akin to “house cats.”

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Musk and members of the Neuralink team laid out progress they have made on their mission at an event held in San Francisco to recruit talent in software, robotics, neuroscience and more.

“Ultimately, we can do a full brain-machine interface,” Musk said.

“Achieve a sort of symbiosis with artificial intelligence.”

Neuralink unveiled an early version of a tiny sensor with hair-thin strands that could be implanted in a brain through a small incision by a robot built for the high-precision task.

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“They are tiny electrodes and the robot is delicately implanting them,” Musk said, noting there could be thousands of the electrodes connected to a brain.

“This is something that is not going to be stressful to put in; will work well, and it is wireless.”

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The chip will communicate wirelessly with an earpiece, which relays information to a smartphone application, according to Neuralink.

For now, the goal is to let a person with the implants control a smartphone with thought, but the technology could eventually extend to other devices such as robotic arms.

“This has tremendous potential,” Musk said.

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“We hope to have this in a human patient before the end of next year.”

An early focus of the team is using the technology to address brain diseases and paralysis, but the longer aim is to make implants so safe, reliable and easy that they could be elective surgery options for people seeking to enhance their brains with computing power, according to a neurosurgeon on the Neuralink team.

Musk said the goal was to make adding the brain-enhancing implants as easy a procedure as laser eye surgery.

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“I’ve said a lot about AI over the years; I think that even in a benign scenario, we will be left behind,” Musk said.

“With a high bandwidth brain-machine interface we can actually go for the ride and have the option of merging with AI. This is very important.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘I’m the one who calls the shots’: Trump rails against Fox News for giving him ‘his worst polls’

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President Donald Trump explained why Fox News has drawn his ire and that they need to realize he's the one in control of them.

In a conversation on the tarmac in Morristown, New Jersey on his way back to Washington, Trump said that Fox News has not been good to him lately.

"Fox is a lot different than it used to be, I can tell you that," Trump said.

In an earlier Twitter rant, the president went off on Juan Williams for being "nasty and wrong."

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Trump explains why he wants to buy Greenland to reporters: ‘It’s a large real estate deal — a lot can be done’

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President Donald Trump reaffirmed his desire to buy Greenland in discussion with reporters Sunday.

The president was returning to Washington, D.C. when he stopped at the airport in Morristown, New Jersey. New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman asked the president about his desire to buy the country from Denmark.

"Greenland, I don't know. It got released somehow," Trump said of the news about his desire to buy the country. "It's something we talked about. Denmark essentially owns it. We're very good allies with Denmark. We protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world. So the concept came up, and I said, strategically, it's interesting. And we'd be interested. We'll talk to them a little bit. It's not number one on the burner; I can tell you that."

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‘They love the meanest parts of him’: Conservative writer explains why evangelical Christians stick with Trump

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Ben Howe, a conservative writer and evangelical Christian who refuses to support Donald Trump, explained why fellow evangelicals continue to back the president despite his decidedly ungodly behavior.

Speaking with the Atlantic’s Emma Green about his new book The Immoral Majority, Howe — whose evangelical bona fides include attending pastor Jerry Falwell’s church as a kid — described evangelicals’ support for Trump, insisting “they love the meanest parts of him.”

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