On Wednesday, Elon Musk tweeted about his ongoing neural lace project, saying that he would maybe make an announcement about it next month.
Now, he is probably joking — right? — but since his track record of innovation is so strong, it’s worth entertaining him a little bit. Musk has been talking about neural lace publicly since June, when he mentioned that it’s the only way for people to survive the A.I. takeover.
Musk kept his response short and sweet: “Maybe next month.”
So, what is Neural lace? Essentially, it’s a hypothetical computer interface that would be injected into the brain, enhancing intelligence and allowing us to connect to our electronic world wirelessly. Once implanted, if you were to look at the computer elements in the brain, it would have created a very fine net that would run next to your neurons. There it would pick up on neural signals and protect us from the A.I. takeover by either making us smarter than A.I. or convincing them we’re one of them. Symbiosis has been Musk’s main goal with the project.
We also know that Musk has given some thought to the implementation of neural lace — by injecting the components into your jugular. The lace would then travel through the bloodstream to the necessary positions near your neurons, which would work since neurons require high blood flow, Musk said at Recode’s Code Conference in June.
There has been some work in mice, where researchers implanted neural lace into their brains this summer. But that required an unfolding mesh of electronics, and is just used to monitor neurons, no A.I. component included.
Musk has been teasing us with a neural lace announcement for months now, and there hasn’t been a lot of evidence that he is actually making progress on the technology. It’s hard to know with Musk though, so let’s give it a month and see.