Elon Musk Reveals New Details About Neuralink, His Brain Implant Technology

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Elon Musk

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Elon Musk is a business magnate, designer, and engineer. His portfolio of businesses include Tesla, Inc., SpaceX, Neuralink, X, and many others. https://twitter.com/elonmusk

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The J Let's talk about what you can talk about to what neural link is because the last time you were here really couldn't discuss it and Then there was a I guess a press release something that sort of Yeah, that that that happened quite a bit after the last time you were here. So what exactly is it? How do you do what what happens if someone? Ultimately does get a neural link installed what will take place? well for version one of the device it would be Basically implanted in your skull so But it would be flush with your skull so you basically Take out a chunk of skull replace put the neural link device in there You put the the electrode you'd insert the electrode threads very carefully into the brain and and then you You know stitch it up and and you wouldn't even know that somebody has And then and so that it can interface basically anywhere Anywhere in your brain? So it could be something that you know helps cure say eyesight like give you returns your eyesight even if you've like lust your optic nerve type of thing I Could really yeah. Yeah, absolutely hearing obviously I Mean pretty much anything that where that it could in principle fix almost anything that is wrong with the brain and it could restore limb functionality, so if you've got Interface into the motor cortex and then an implant that's say That's like a microcontroller In your muscle groups you could then create a sort of a neural shunt That restores somebody who is a quadriplegic to full Functionality like they can walk around be normal Whoa, yeah, so maybe slightly better Slightly better over time. Yes, you mean with future iterations like the you know six million dollar man Although these days that would that doesn't that's pretty much yeah Six billion dollar man, so the The hole would be small how big would the whole be that you have to drill and then replace with this piece It's only one hole well Yeah, the device working on right now is about It's about an inch in diameter And your skulls pretty thick by the way so skulls are it might actually literally I mean if you're a big if you're a big guy your skull is actually fairly thick Skulls like it's like seven to fourteen millimeters So a couple inches a half inch, you know half inch thick skull ish so Yeah, so that that's a fair bit of like our we got quite a coconut going on. It's not it's not like some eggshell Oh, yeah, I believe you so the Yeah, you basically implant the device and so you would be like a one inch square One inch in diameter. Yeah, like so an inch circle like a circular Yeah, I think like a like a smartwatch or something better. Okay. Yeah Okay, so you take this one inch diameter? Like ice fishing right here we go ice fishing. No, but I'd like to it's great. Yeah, it's really fun Yeah, so you basically take an auger and you You drill it through the surface of the ice. Yeah, and you create a small hole and you can dunk your line in there So this is like that your ice fishing on the top of your skull and then you cork it Yeah, and you replace that Say one inch diameter piece of skull with this neural length device And that has a battery and a Bluetooth and a inductive charger and then you And then you also get it insert the electrodes so the electrodes very carefully inserted with our With a robot that we developed that looks you know Very carefully putting in the electrodes and avoiding, you know, and any veins or arteries So it's you know, it doesn't create trauma. So through this one inch diameter. Yeah device Electrodes be inserted and they will find their way like tiny wires space tiny wires I know and they'll find their way to specific areas of the brain to stimulate. No, you literally put them where they're supposed to go. Oh Okay. Yeah, you said how long will these wires be? I Mean they usually go in like, you know Depending on where it is like You get two or three millimeters So they just find the spots. Yeah Wow and then Yeah, me you put the device and then that that gets that that replaces the the little piece of skull I was taken out and then you stitch up the the hole and and You're like a little scar and that's it. Well, this would be replaceable or reversible. Yes, like if someone can't take it Yeah, I'm too smart. I can't take it. Yeah, totally. Take it out. And what is the besides? Restoring limb function and eyesight in hearing which are all amazing. Is there there any cognitive benefits that you anticipate from something like those? Yeah, I mean you could for sure I mean basically It's a generalized Sort of Think for for fixing any kind of brain injury in principle I could view or if you've got like severe epilepsy or something like that It could it could just it gets just sort of stop the episode epilepsy from occurring like it could detect it in real time and then fire a counter pulse and stop the epilepsy If I Mean there's a whole range of brain injuries like people somebody gets a stroke. They could lose the ability to speak In that that that also that could also be fixed So if you've got like stroke damage or you lose say, you know muscle control over part of your face or something like that I think and then when you get old you tend to if you get like, you know Alzheimer's or something like that, then you lose memory and this could help you with You know restoring your memory like a thing Restoring memory and what what is happening? It's allowing it to do that like the wires these small wires Yeah stimulating these areas of the brain and then is it that the areas of the brain are there? They're losing some sort of electrical force. Like what is happening? Yeah. Yeah it's like it's like the thing of it's like a bunch of circuits and there's some like circuits that are broken and we can like Fix those circuits Substitute for those circuits and so a specific frequency will go through this. Yeah specific in that Would is the process figuring out how much or how little has to be? How much would these areas of the brain have to be juiced up? Yeah, I mean there's still a lot of work to do so when I say, you know, we've got a shot at probably putting it in in a person and You know within a year, I think that's that's what that's exactly what I mean I think we have a chance of putting input into one end having them having them be healthy and and Restoring some functionality that they're if they've lost the fear is that eventually you're gonna have to cut the whole top of someone's head off And put a new top with a whole bunch of wires if you want to get You know the real turbocharged version the p100d of brain stimulation I Mean ultimately if you if you want to go with full AI symbiosis You'll probably Want to do something like that symbiosis a scary word when it comes to AI It's optional. I Would hope so. Yeah, it's just I mean once you enjoy the Dr. Manhattan lifestyle Once you once you become a god Seems very very unlikely you're gonna want to go back to being stupid again I mean you literally could fundamentally change the way human beings interface with each other. Yes. Yes You wouldn't need to talk I'm so scared of that but so excited about at the same time. Is that weird? Yeah, I mean the I think this is one of the paths to You know, I think like what what? Like AI is getting better and better so Now let's just see what sort of like a benign AI scenario Even in a benign scenario, we're kind of left behind. You know, we're not we're not along for the ride We're just too dumb, right? So so how do you go along for the ride? Yeah, so you can't beat him join him so And We're already we're already a cyborg to some degree right because you've got your phone you got your laptop glasses Yeah, yeah, good or you know electronic devices and I mean we're today if you your phone if you if you don't bring your phone along it's like you have missing limb syndrome That's like, you know, it feels like something's really really missing. So We're ready partly Part you know partly a cyborg or an AI symbiote essentially It's just that the data rate to the electronics is slow So especially output like you're just going with your thumbs I don't know like what's your data rate? Maybe Optimistically 100 bits per second. That's being generous And now the computer can communicate it like, you know 100 terabits So So certainly, you know get gigabits or a travail at this point. So this is like Yeah, basically you can your computer could do a lot do things a million times faster or At a certain point it's like talk they as like token or tree Okay, just boring you talk to a tree space not very entertaining so So if you if you can solve the data rate issue and you're especially output but input to then You can improve the symbiosis that is already occurring between man a machine So you can improve it in what when you said you won't have to talk to each other anymore We used to joke around about that I've joked around about that a million times in this podcast that one day in the future There's gonna come a time where you can read each other's minds Yeah, well you'll be able to interface with each other in some sort of a nonverbal Not non-physical way where you will transfer data back and forth to each other without having to actually use your mouth Yeah noises exactly. So when you What happens when you when like let's say you've got some complex idea that you're trying to convey to somebody else and how do you do that? Well, your brain spends a lot of effort compressing complex concept into words and There's a there's a lot of a lot of loss information loss that occurs when Compressing a complex concept into words and then you say those words those words that then interpret it Then they're decompressed by the person who is listening And they they will at best get a very incomplete understanding of what you're trying to convey It's very difficult to convey a complex concept with precision because you've got compression Decompression you may not even have heard all the words correctly and so Communication is difficult. You know what we have here is a failure to communicate It's cool aunt Luke. Yes, and there's a great movie. Yeah, there's an interpretation factor to like you can choose to interpret certain Series of words in different ways and they're dependent upon tone dependent upon social cues even facial expressions Sarcasm, there's a lot of variables sarcasm is difficult. Yes. Yeah, and so One of one of the things that I've said is like that there could be potentially a universal language That's created through computers that particularly young kids would pick up very quickly Like my kids do tick-tock and all this jazz and I don't know what they're doing They just know how to do it and they know how to do it really quickly Like they learn really quickly and they show me how to edit things and yeah It's if you taught a child from first grade on how to use some new universal language I mean essentially like a Rosetta Stone and Something that's done with that interprets your thoughts and you can convey your thoughts with no room for interpretation with clear very clear and that where you know what a person saying and you can tell them what you're saying and There's no need for noises. No need for mouth noises. No need for yes these sort of accepted ways that we've Sort of evolved to make sounds that we all agree we through our cultural Dictionary and right we agree or certain we could bypass all that. Yeah, you can still do it for for fun sentimental reasons, right? Like campfires. Yeah, exactly. I don't need campfire Need to roast marshmallows So yeah Yeah, I think you would in principle you would be able to communicate Very quickly and with far more precision Ideas and and language would I'm not sure what would happen to language But you could probably within a situation like this that you would be able to just it will kind of like the matrix you Want to speak in a foreign English? No problem, right? That's why it was to download the program Right, so at least for the first iterations first few iterations We'll just be able to use like I know that Google has their Some of their pixel buds have the ability to interpret languages in real time Like yeah, you can hear it and they'll it'll play things back to you and whatever language you choose So to be something along those lines Yeah for the first few iterations Well, the first few iterations are about what I'm talking about is like in the limit over time You know with a lot of development the first few iterations Really in the first few versions all we're gonna be trying to do is solve it brain injuries Um, so it's like don't don't worry that there's not gonna sneak up on you Does this this will take a while how many years? Before you don't have to talk If the if the development Continues to accelerate then Maybe like five years five to ten years. That's quick That's really quick. That's the best case scenario. No talking anymore in five years best case scenario Tens ten years more like it I've always speculated that aliens could potentially be us in the future Because if you look at like the size their heads and the fact that they have very little muscle and then they don't use their Mouth anymore. They was tiny little slim The archetypal alien that you see in like closing counters of the third kind they they're like if you went from like Australia Pythagus or Ancient hominid to us. What's the difference less hair less muscle bigger head and then you just keep going Thousand a million whatever year or five years, whatever whatever happens when neural link goes on Online and then we slowly start to adapt to this new way of being Where we don't use our muscles anymore. We have this gigantic head we can talk without words you could also save state Save state save state like save your brain state like like a saved game in a video game. Whoa Like like if you want to swap from Windows 95 Well, it's a little better Yeah, I think we are Windows 95 right now My future perspective probably But yeah, I mean you you could save state and Restore that state into a biological being if you if you wanted to in the future in principle It's like nothing like from a physics standpoint that prevents us that you'd be a little different But then you're also a little different when you wake up in the morning from yesterday and you're a little different In fact, if you say like you five years ago versus you today is quite a big difference. Yes So you'd be substantially you I mean you'd be you'd certainly think you're you but the idea of saving yourself and then Transforming that into some sort of a biological state like you could hang out with 30 year old you I Mean the possibilities are endless I Mean these things think like how your phone can you can record videos on your phone? Like there's no way you could remember a video right as accurately as your phone or a camera, you know could so Now if you've got like it, you know some some Version 10 you're a link whatever and far in the future You could you could remember you could recall everything but just like it's a movie Concluding all the entire sensory experience emotions everything everything everything and play it back Do you think you should edit it? Edit it. Yeah, so you can change your past You could change what do you think was your past? Yeah. Well, so if you had like this thing right now Could be a replayed memory. It could be yeah, it may be What's the odds of this being a replayed memory? If you had a guess? It's more than 50 percent There's no way to assign a probability with accuracy here right but roughly If you just had a just gut instinct Well, I don't have a new link in my brain so I'd say right now 0% But at the point at which you do have a new link then it rises above 0% Mmm The idea that we're experiencing some sort of a preserved memory is Even though it's still the same it's not comforting right for some reason when people talk about Simulation theory they talk about the potential for this currently being a simulation it even though your life might be wonderful You might be in love. You might love your career. You might have great friends But it's not comforting to know that this experience somehow or another doesn't exist in a material form that you can knock on Feels real does feels real but but if it's not but the idea that it's not is for some strange reason Disconcerting what yeah, I'm sure Should be disconcerting Because then if this is not real what is right? But but you know, there's that old sort of Thought experiment of like, how do you know you're not a brain in a vat? You know right now here's the thing you are a brain in a vat then that vat is your skull Yes, and everything you see feel here. What everything all your senses are electrical signals everything everything Is an electrical signal to to a brain in a vat with a vat is your skull and all your hormones all your Neurotransmitters all these things are drugs Adrenaline's a drug Dopa means a drug. You're a drug factory you're constantly changing your state with love and oxytocin and and Beauty sure changes your state great music changes your state. Absolutely And yet here's another sort of interesting idea which is Because you say like where did consciousness arise? Well, assuming you believe The belief in physics which appears to be true then you know, we the universe started off as basically quarks and leptons and it quickly became hydrogen and Helium lithium like basically elements the periodic table, but it was like mostly hydrogen basically and Then and then over a long period of time You know 13.8 billion years later that hydrogen became sentient But where along the way Did conjure where isn't the consciousness? What's the line of consciousness and not consciousness between hydrogen and here? Right. When do we call it? When do we call it consciousness? I was watching a video today that we played on a podcast earlier of a monkey riding a motorcycle down the street Jumps off the motorcycle and tries to steal a baby. Yeah, so that one. Yeah, we're all what is that? Monkey conscious it seems like it is it seems like it had a plan It was riding a fucking motorcycle and then jumped off the motorcycle to try to steal a baby Seems pretty the one that just dragged baby down the street pretty far. Yeah. Yeah seems pretty conscious right There's definitely some degree of consciousness there. Yeah, it's not like it's not a worm It seems to be on another level. Yeah, and it's gonna keep going and That that's the real concern When when people think about the potential future versions of human beings, especially when you consider Symbiotic relationship to artificial intelligence that will be unrecognizable That one day will be so far removed from what this is. We'll look back on this the way we look back now on You know simple simple organisms that we evolved from And then it won't be that far in the future that we do have this this view back well, I hope consciousness propagates into the future and gets more more sophisticated and complex and and that it understands the Questions to ask about the universe Do you think that's the case? As a human being as yourself, you're clearly Trying to make conscious decisions to be a better version of you, right? This is the idea of like getting rid of your possessions and realizing that you're trying to like I don't like this I will try to improve this I will try to do a better version of the way I interface with reality That this is always the way things are if you're if you're moving in a some sort of a direction where you're trying to improve things You're always gonna move into this new place where you look back in the old place and go. I was doing it wrong back then So this is an accelerated version of that yeah super accelerated version that I Mean you don't always improve but you can aspire to improve you can aspire to be less wrong Yeah, this is like I think a good the tools of physics are very powerful Like just assume you're wrong and you're asked to call it to be less wrong. I Don't think you're gonna if you succeed every day in being less wrong, but you know if you're gonna succeed in being less wrong Most the time you're doing great. That's a great way of putting it aspire to be less wrong But then when you know people look back and nostalgia about simpler times. There's that too It's very romantic and exciting to look back on campfires Because they'll have a campfire. Yes. Yeah, but you appreciate it when you're a super nerd when you connect it to the grid and you have some skullcap it's in place of the top of your head and it's interfacing with the International language at the rest of the universe now enjoys communication with people And we're yeah, sure. I think so. Yeah, I like it first