jump to navigation

Is Elon Musk Prescient, or Just Scary? July 19, 2019

Posted by Peter Varhol in Machine Learning, Technology and Culture.
Tags: ,

The headline blared out at me yesterday:  Elon Musk has formed a company to make implants to link the brain with a smartphone.  The article offered no insight on how that might be done, but did say that Elon Musk wants to insert Bluetooth-enabled implants into the brain, claiming the devices could enable telepathy (???) and repair motor function in people with injuries.  Further, he says that it would be used by stroke victims, cancer patients, quadriplegics or others with congenital defects.  It connects via Bluebooth to a small computer worn over the ear and to a smartphone.

The part about helping the disabled sounds really good, but once again, it’s not clear how that might happen.  And telepathy?  Seriously?  It’s not at all clear about how having a smartphone wired to your brain is supposed to accomplish in terms of higher cognitive function.

All this leaves me shrugging my shoulders.  On the one hand, I like the idea of technology that might help the disabled, especially those with brain or motor damage.  On the other hand, it is not at all clear how this whole thing might work in practice.

(I am tempted to go third or fourth hand at this point, but maybe I should use the Gripping Hand).  And then there’s Musk.  He has proven himself to be a brilliant and driven innovator, but also seems less than stable when obstacles lie in his path.

Color me dubious.  There are possibly some advantages here in helping disabled people.  I don’t think they will be all that much, but much more information is needed.  But the idea of anyone, whether disabled or healthy, thinking it’s a good idea to put computer chips in their brain (up to 10, says Musk) seems to be the height of folly.

Then there is the whole question of who owns the data that is coming from your brain?  I don’t even want to touch that one.  If we thought ownership and use of Facebook and Google data was controversial, this takes the cake.

So here is another technology I’m not ready for.  I’ve always been cautious in adopting new technologies, but I think I draw the limit at computer chips in my brain.


No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: