Elon Musk's Neuralink chip 'will allow users to stream music directly into their brains'

Rob Waugh
·Contributor
·2 min read
BRAZIL - 2019/07/08: In this photo illustration a Neuralink logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Elon Musk's Neuralink company launched in 2016. (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


Forget Airpods, could threads embedded in your head soon allow you to stream music directly into your brain - bypassing your ears altogether?

Yes, maverick tech billionaire Elon Musk believes, and the key could lie with his pioneering brain interface company Neuralink.

Neuralink, which launched in 2016, is centered on creating devices which can be implanted in the human brain, and Musk made the comments while recruiting tech talent for the startup.

The startup is working on flexible threads, thinner than human hair, designed to be implanted into the brain to ‘“read” brain activity.

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The “ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces” are built to transmit brain impulses to machines, with an end goal of allowing humans to “merge” with artificial intelligence (AI).

Musk has promised an update from the company in August.

Last year, the company revealed that it would be using a surgical robot to implant thin thread-like wires into a user’s brain, connected to an external processing unit.

CAPE CANAVERAL, UNITED STATES - 2020/05/30: SpaceX founder Elon Musk looks on after being recognized by U.S. President Donald Trump at NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building after watching the successful launch of a Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will rendezvous and dock with the International Space Station, becoming the first people to launch into space from American soil since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Maverick tech billionaire Elon Musk backs the company. (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Ultimately, the company hopes to make the connection wireless.

Scientists behind the project have developed a tiny implant with more than 3,000 electrodes, attached to flexible threads measuring about the tenth of the size of a hair, capable of monitoring about 1,000 neurons.

It would link up to an app, allowing users to control a mobile device, or a mouse and keyboard on a computer.

The company has already performed successful tests of the technology on mice and even apes, it revealed last year.

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But in the nearer future, we may be able to listen to Spotify in complete silence, Musk said this week.

Replying to a question from a Twitter user, Musk said that the technology could one day be used to stream music directly into users’ brains.

Musk took to Twitter this week to recruit new talent for the startup, saying, “If you’ve solved hard problems with phones / wearables (sealing, signal processing, inductive charging, power mgmt, etc), please consider working at engineering@neuralink.com.”

Musk said that the technology “would solve a lot of brain/spine injuries & is ultimately essential for AI symbiosis”.

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Musk has previously said: “Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.

“It’s mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output.”

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