Elon Musk has revealed more details about his mysterious brain-computer interface startup, claiming it will allow people to hear sounds that were previously beyond their range.
Neuralink’s brain chip technology could also help restore movement to someone with a fully severed spinal cord, according to Musk.
The SpaceX and Tesla boss founded Neuralink in 2016 but has only held one major public presentation about how its technology will actually work.
The ultimate aim is to provide a direct connection between a brain and a computer, using a “sewing machine-like” device to stitch threads to an implanted brain chip.
A research paper published last year in conjunction with the event explained how these threads would connect to a single USB-C cable to provide “full-bandwidth data streaming” to the brain.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, Musk said the technology “could also extend range of hearing beyond normal frequencies and amplitudes.”
More details about Neuralink will be presented at an event on 28 August, though Musk has been drip-feeding information about the device’s capabilities over Twitter.
Earlier this month, he said that wearers would be able to stream music directly to their brain, as well as use them to regulate hormone levels and deliver “enhanced abilities” like greater reasoning and relief from anxiety.
First iterations of Neuralink’s device could be used to assist people suffering from neurological disorders and brain diseases like Parkinson’s, though ultimately Musk hopes the technology will allow people to compete with artificial intelligence.
The billionaire entrepreneur has frequently warned about the dangers of advanced AI, claiming that it poses one of the greatest existential threats to humanity.
Musk reiterated his fears earlier this week, warning that humans risk being overtaken by AI within the next five years.
“My assessment about why AI is overlooked by very smart people is that very smart people do not think a computer can ever be as smart as they are,” he said.
“And this is hubris and obviously false. We are headed toward a situation where AI is vastly smarter than humans and I think that time frame is less than five years from now. But that doesn’t mean that everything goes to hell ion five years. It just means that things get unstable and weird.”