Elon Musk wants to streamline consciousness via ‘conceptual telepathy,’ and believes his secretive company Neuralink will serve as the vehicle.
“We can spend a lot more time thinking about interesting things, as opposed to taking complex thought structures, compressing them down into words, and then having someone else receive those words, decompress them, and then send those words back,” the SpaceX billionaire told an audience of virtual listeners on the invite-only app Clubhouse. “If you’re talking about brainpower spent, we could spend it on deeper content. If you had a Neuralink, you could do conceptual telepathy where you have a complex series of concepts and you just transfer them directly…to the other person.”
Human beings currently possess two primary layers to the brain: the limbic system and the cortex. But Musk theorized that each human being is “already a cyborg” who possesses a third layer known as the “digital tertiary layer” for comprehending the world.
Although Musk believes this layer in humans arose by interacting with digital interfaces like computers (and although daily smartphone usage would in theory further develop this layer), he also holds the belief that phones have limited the bandwidth between the “digital tertiary layer” and the other two layers.
“The bandwidth between your cortex and your digital tertiary layer is very slow. With the advent of phones, it got even slower,” continued the entrepreneur on Sunday. “What’s the rate of a pair of thumbs on a phone? It’s very low…Computers can communicate at trillions of bits per second…We need to improve the bandwidth with a direct neural interface. We can improve the bandwidth between your cortex and digital tertiary layer by many orders of magnitude.”
Musk made news on the chatroom by announcing Neuralink had successfully wired up a monkey to play video games with its mind.
“It’s not an unhappy monkey,” said the billionaire. “You can’t even see where the neural implant was put in, except that he’s got a slight like dark mohawk.”