Elon Musk's Neuralink: Will coin-sized memory chip lead to a ‘Black Mirror’ future? Internet calls it ‘insane’

With 'three little pigs' and one named Gertrude, Musk demonstrated his startup's technology through which an implantable device can fit in the brain


                            Elon Musk's Neuralink: Will coin-sized memory chip lead to a ‘Black Mirror’ future? Internet calls it ‘insane’
(Getty Images)
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A man of many hats, Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, CEO of Tesla, founder of The Boring Company and co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI, recently stunned with his newest "working device" unveiled at the Neuralink presser on Friday, August 28, held at 6 pm ET. Back in February, the billionaire entrepreneur had teased that the next version of Neuralink would be "awesome" compared to the first presser in July 2019. And it was!

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Unveiling a new kind of interface between the human brain and computers, Musk said, “We’re not trying to raise money or do anything else, but the main purpose is to convince great people to come work at Neuralink and help us bring the product to fruition — make it affordable and reliable and such that anyone who wants one can have one.” 

With “three little pigs” and one named Gertrude, Musk demonstrated his startup's technology through which an implantable device — the size of a coin — can fit inside the brain to help fight memory loss, blindness, paralysis, depression, insomnia, seizures, addiction, brain damage. While the goal is quite far-fetched right now and there seems to be no clear evidence whether these ailments can be "solved" with the help of the new chip, the company exhibited the pig's activity as it snuffled around a pen.

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Elon Musk (Getty Images)

"It's like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires," Musk said of the device. "If you can sense what people want to do with their limbs, you can do a second implant where the spinal injury occurred and create a neural shunt," Musk said. "I'm confident in the long term it'll be possible to restore somebody's full-body motion."

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"The future is going to be weird," he said, adding, "In the future, you will be able to save and replay memories," he said. "You could basically store your memories as a backup and restore the memories. You could potentially download them into a new body or into a robot body." Realizing it was getting a little too unbelievable, he uttered, "This is increasingly sounding like a 'Black Mirror' episode."

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Soon after, the Internet erupted with a barrage of tweets on how similar it could be to 'Black Mirror' — specifically Season 1 Episode 3 'The Entire History of You'. "Elon Musk's #Neuralink did bring to mind the 'Black Mirror' episode "The Entire History of You", which features characters who are able to record and review all their memories with disastrous consequences," one Twitter user said and another posted, "When you think Black Mirror is crazy but it's actually a documentary of the future. #Neuralink."

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One tweet said, "@elonmusk has been directing black mirror all this while #Neuralink," and another posted, "Elon said, “Yeah, the future is gonna be weird.” “But not like Black Mirror.” “Super Vision.” “Pig on a treadmill.” #Neuralink Boy, I’ve got a bathtub size popcorn." One tweet said: “In the future, you will you be able to save and replay memories.” says @elonmusk. This sounds like a 'Black Mirror' episode. Awkward, insane but impressive! #Neuralink."

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Many clarified how it wouldn't be the same as that 'Black Mirror' episode. "#Neuralink What people think: Its mind control! They will steal memories and read your thoughts! Black Mirror! What it is: A neural 'pacemaker' and low-bandwidth noisy I/O interface. Tagging #nueralink b/c people need spell check implants," one tweet read, while another said, "What doesn't come across from the 'Black Mirror' comments, the initial problems #Neuralink will solve: paralysis, spinal injuries, blindness, deafness, brain injuries should not be overlooked. You gotta commend @elonmusk for solving big, huge problems that no one else is."

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So, will the future be like a new 'Black Mirror' season? Only time will tell.