Elon Musk Said His AI-Brain-Chips Company Could 'Solve' Autism and Schizophrenia

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by Hadeel Abdelkariem, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. Hadeel Abdelkariem

    Hadeel Abdelkariem Golden Member

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    Elon Musk said he thinks his neural-technology company, Neuralink, will be able to "solve" schizophrenia and autism.

    On the latest "Artificial Intelligence" podcast with Lex Fridman, published Tuesday, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO was asked about the most exciting effects he foresees for Neuralink, whose goal is to develop an AI-enabled chip that could be implanted in a person's brain to record brain activity and potentially stimulate it.

    "So Neuralink I think at first will solve a lot of brain-related diseases," Musk said. "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."

    It was not clear what Musk meant by saying Neuralink could "solve" autism, which is not a disease but a developmental disorder.

    The UK's National Autistic Society's website says: "Autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be 'cured.' Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity."

    The World Health Organization describes schizophrenia as a "severe mental disorder."

    Musk founded Neuralink in 2016, and for the first few years of its existence, the company was relatively secretive.

    This year, Neuralink has been more vocal: It published a white paper in July about its design for a brain chip, and Musk excitedly announced that the company had begun testing on monkeys.


    An illustration of Neuralink's design. The chip sits behind the ear, while electrodes are threaded into the brain.

    Musk has said the technology could be used to treat neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. He also told Fridman that it could be used to solve "critical damage to the brain or the spinal cord." But his eventual goal is to merge human consciousness with AI.

    Neuralink is "intended to address the existential risk associated with digital superintelligence," Musk told Fridman. "We will not be able to be smarter than a digital supercomputer, so, therefore, if you cannot beat 'em, join 'em."


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