Elon Musk has a secretive technology he's been working on. And it has everything to do with controlling the human brain.
Dubbed Neuralink, the Musk company aims at implanting technology into the human head and allowing paralyzed people the opportunity to control phones or computers purely with their brains.
Musk and Neuralink believe the technology could go even further and give humans control over technology with their brains in new and unique ways. Indeed, Musk believes the technology could unleash a host of breakthroughs in medicine, mind control, and more.
So, how does Neuralink actually work? According to the company, once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives Neuralink approvals, which could come as soon as early next year, Neuralink would work with patients and drill four 8mm-sized holes into their skulls. In those holes, Neuralink would implant thousands of electrodes in so-called "threads" that would interact with brain functions. The technology would be implanted by a robot.
Drilling holes in a skull is, of course, not the best sounding technique. So Musk was quick to note that Neuralink is considering moving to a laser beam to open the skull and embed the technology.
To be clear, Neuralink's concept isn't new. Indeed, the first human to get a brain implant to control a computer received it in 2006. However, that only paved the way for the paralyzed person to control the game of Pong. Neuralink is decidedly more advanced and could ultimately pave the way for people to fully control a computer or smartphone. They could also use their brains to type out messages to others, with an eventual goal of reaching 40 words per minute.
"A monkey has been able to control a computer with its brain" using Neuralink technology, Musk said during the presentation, according to The Verge.
Looking ahead, however, the path might not be so easy to traverse for Neuralink. The company will require constant advancement in robotics and medical devices to succeed. And as Musk pointed out, he believes Neuralink could provide a truly groundbreaking solution for people with help from artificial intelligence.
Indeed, the sky is the limit for Neuralink's technology. And there's clearly an opportunity to change the lives of people who are paralyzed.
For current business owners and entrepreneurs, Neuralink's technology could be an important jumping-off point. Thanks to Musk, there's clearly enough funding behind the concept, and there's clearly a need for advanced technological concepts. Any company operating in robotics or finding ways to improve surgical procedures could stand to work closely with Neuralink and identify new opportunities. Even companies in artificial intelligence that have their sights set on the connection between the human brain and computers could find new chances for growth.
Ultimately, Neuralink presents an exciting opportunity for Musk, for healthcare, and for business owners looking to play a role in what could very well become next-generation brain-focused technology.