Elon Musk appears at an August 2020 press conference where he introduces the Neuralink brain interface through a live demonstration using a pig test subject. (Source: Steve Jurvetson, flickr)

Two Billionaires Invest in Brain Interfaces to Improve Mental Disorders, Overcome Disabilities

According to two recent articles, two of the world’s wealthiest men, entrepreneurs Ron Thiel and Elon Musk, have invested in brain implants that could treat mental disorders and preserve memory in Thiel’s case; and enable disabled people to walk and control technologies with their minds in Musk’s case.

A story on gizmodo.com says venture capitalist and freedom-loving billionaire Peter Thiel is promoting the prospect of a mind/computer interface being the door to immortality, among other advances. Writer Tom Mccay spells out Thiel’s goals.

ATAI Life Sciences, a biosciences company backed by Theil that specializes in experimental treatment of mental disorders with psychedelic drugs, has bought out a majority stake in a company working to meld the mind with machines.

Per CNBC, the Berlin-based ATAI has purchased a controlling percentage of Psyber, one of several firms working on brain-computer interface technology that could theoretically one day allow humans to plug themselves into a smart toaster or potentially a robot.

But ATAI told CNBC that Psyber’s early-stage research into electrical activity in the brain, the first step towards translating neural activity into machine language and vice versa, will also be useful in the development of psychedelic therapies. The data that Psyber is analyzing could also yield insights into how psychedelic drugs produce their subjective effects and improve their safety and efficacy, according to ATAI. The company also suggested that brain-control interfaces could one day play a role in psychedelic therapy itself.

 “Combining both medicine and BCI-assisted therapy puts the patient firmly in the driving seat as it tailors to the individual’s specific needs,” David Keene, ATAI’s digital therapeutics ad, told CNBC in a statement.

Mccay’s article goes on at length about how the possibility of teaming psychedelic drugs with a computer/mind interface will be exciting and doable.

read more at gizmodo.com

Elon Uses Video to Push Interface Proposal

Mr. Musk has been a long-time advocate of the computer/human interface idea. And as he is prone to do Musk gets ahead of himself and the technology he is introducing to the world. You might recall the self-driving Tesla has been a long-promised and finally becoming a profitable venture of Mr. Musk. But the Tesla is still not completely self-driving. And that’s a different story.

Neuralink co-founder Elon Musk said recently that his brain-computer interface company’s first product will allow users with paralysis to “use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs.”

Alongside Musk’s claims, made in a series of tweets, the company shared a new video of a nine-year-old macaque called Pager playing a game of Pong using two Neuralink units implanted in its brain six weeks prior.

Musk has some enormous ambitions for what is next.

     Pager the macaque had a neural interface implanted to gauge his brain activity, allowing him to control Pong with his mind.

“Later versions will be able to shunt signals from Neuralinks in brain to Neuralinks in body motor/sensory neuron clusters, thus enabling, for example, paraplegics to walk again,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.

This incredible moment in AI brain interfacing marks the beginning of what could translate into a new freedom for disabled people, as well as a distinct advantage for those who want to amp up their intelligence.

read more at futurism.com