Controversial research: Controlling computers with thoughts: What can Musk's company Neuralink do?

This article is an acquisition from Capital, Capital's premium digital offering.

Controversial research: Controlling computers with thoughts: What can Musk's company Neuralink do?

This article is an acquisition from Capital, Capital's premium digital offering. For you as a stern PLUS subscriber, it is available exclusively here for one week. It will then be available again exclusively for Capital subscribers at www.capital.de/plus. Like stern, Capital is part of RTL Deutschland.

It has been almost eight years since Elon Musk added a medical start-up to his string of prominent companies. Neuralink complemented Tesla, SpaceX and Hyperloop with an unexplored vision of the future: that of telepathy between the human brain and computer.

Shortly before, the billionaire had the name given to him by two neuroscientists who had been unsuccessfully looking for a commercial partner for years - reportedly for tens of thousands of dollars. It would be difficult to make time for a new high-tech adventure in addition to electric cars and space rockets, Musk tweeted at the company's presentation, "but the existential risks are too great and require it." Humanity must arm itself against the unstoppable advance of artificial intelligence - and make a quantum leap itself.

What was true for the namesakes of Neuralink, even Elon Musk cannot escape: Every device that enters a human brain must be more reliable than a Swiss clockwork - and requires development and testing costs of a good $200 million, neuroscientists warn. Even if the benefits of an interface between computer and brain have been successfully proven, the question arises: Can enough patients benefit from it to make the investments and complex approval procedures worthwhile? The challenge in this neurotechnology, it is said, is the difficulty of making a development profitable, even if it ultimately works.

Neuralink is now testing its first product, which Musk wants to call “Telepathy,” on humans.

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