Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk claimed during a recent appearance on an artificial intelligence podcast that his AI tech startup Neuralink could implant chips into human brains which could “solve a lot of brain-related diseases,” listing schizophrenia and autism as examples.
Business Insider reports that Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk believes that his neural tech firm Neuralink can “solve” schizophrenia and autism. Musk’s firm Neuralink plans to develop an AI-enabled chip that it claims can be implanted in a person’s brain to record brain activity and possibly stimulate it.
During an appearance on the Artificial Intelligence podcast with Lex Fridman this week, Musk was asked what he believes the most exciting effects of his company Neuralink’s technology will be. Musk replied: “So Neuralink, I think at first will solve a lot of brain-related diseases. So could be anything from like autism, schizophrenia, memory loss — like everyone experiences memory loss at certain points in age. Parents can’t remember their kids’ names and that kind of thing,”
Autism is not a disease that can be cured, it is a developmental disability. The UK National Autistic Society states: “Autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured’. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.” Similarly, schizophrenia is not a “disease” but is classified by the World Health Organization as a “severe mental disorder.”
Neuralink was founded by Musk in 2016 and published a whitepaper in July about its design for a brain chip. Musk also announced recently that the firm has begun animal testing on monkeys. Musk has stated in the past that the technology could be used to treat neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s or be used to solve “critical damage to the brain or the spinal cord.” Musk has stated recently that the final goal is to merge human consciousness with AI.
Musk told Fridman on the podcast: “It’s [Neuralink] intended to address the existential risk associated with digital superintelligence. We will not be able to be smarter than a digital supercomputer, so therefore if you cannot beat ’em, join ’em,” Musk told Fridman.
Listen to the full interview here.