Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WSJ: Tesla CEO Elon Musk To Connect Brains To Computers

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that billionaire Elon Musk, founder and chief executive of Tesla, Inc., and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has started a new company called "Neuralink Corp."

This new company will "implant tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts."

First, the procedure will be used to fight diseases, then, according to the WSJ, will be expanded...


Preposterous, right?

Elon Musk, in addition to founding Tesla and SpaceX, is also the co-founder of Paypal.

The Wall Street Journal says Mr. Musk "has proven many naysayers wrong."

"Traditional automakers said he could never sell a popular electric car," WSJ says, "Military gray-industrial graybeards scoffed at the idea he could even launch a rocket."

Both have happened successfully.

Musk has already hired leading academics in the field, that include an engineer and expert in flexible electrodes, a UC professor who is an expert on how the brain controls movement and a professor from Boston U who is known for implanting tiny electrodes in the brains of finches to study how birds sing.

Neuralink will, according to these leading scientists, first develop advanced implants to treat intractable brain disorders like epilepsy or major depression, a market worth billions of dollars. These implants would build on simpler electrodes already used to treat brain disorders like Parkinson's disease.

If Neuralink can prove the safety and efficacy of technology it develops and receive government approval, they plan to move on to cosmetic brain surgeries to enhance cognitive function, because they say "humans struggle to process and generate information as quickly as they absorb it."

They say, "Your output is so low, particularly on the phone, your two thumbs just tapping away---This is ridiculously slow. Our output is much better because we have a high bandwidth visual interface into the brain. Our eyes take in a lot of data."

Others are also looking at similar ventures.

Bryan Johnson, founder of online payments company "Braintree," plans to put $100 million into his start-up company called "Kernal," which already has 20 experts pursuing essentially the same mission.

Facebook has posted job ads for "brain-computer interface engineers" and other neuroscientists at its new secret projects division.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is investing $60 million over 4 years to develop "implantable neural interface technology."

Johnson says he and Musk have been talking and that both companies "want to build better neural interfaces, first to attack big diseases, and then to expand human potential."

Musk says, "If you assume any rate of advancement in artificial intelligence (AI), we will be left behind by a lot," suggesting that without connecting the brain to a computer we will be unable to compete---find our place in the changing world.

The "potential" of this is, should I say it, mind boggling?

Clearly, the breakthrough moment would be the announcement that this research and development has created a cure for say epilepsy or Parkinson's.

What parent or family member would not be grateful to see their loved one cured?

However, the downloading and uploading of data into our brain for the sake of "expanding human potential" has ramifications that are both obvious and beyond understanding.

The question of ethics has already been raised. The answer these entrepreneurs are giving, generally, is first, they are doing this to "help" people, and secondly they generally quote Psychology Today, which says this:

The brain and mind are both involved in consciousness and the terms are often used interchangeably but the brain and the mind are not the same. The brain is a tangible organ in the body that controls all vital human function. Conversely, the mind permeates every cell of the human body and consults with non-human cells such as the gut bacteria, which comprise nine tenths of the cells in our bodies. More importantly, the mind ultimately has dominion over the brain.

Bottom line from psychology---don't worry about this new world of computers connected to your brain. Nothing uploaded into your brain will change your mind about anything you believe---they say.

Will this happen soon? Probably not, but the technology is there and the money is there. It won't take long.

It isn't only Musk who is pursuing this but also Apple, Google, Facebook, and others are also perfecting this technology.

Who knows what the real motives may be, beyond the money?

This subject is being discussed widely in the business and medical communities. And now is beginning to become a matter of consideration in the Christian community, as it should.

Some Christian leaders are contending that the brain and the mind are separate and that computer to brain connections are a good thing, and that has nothing to do with our mind or our soul.

Some are opposing the idea as an affront to God our Creator.

Personally, I see this procedure as a gateway to the soul. As we protect our computers from viruses that destroy the software, Scripture instructs us to protect or guard our mind.

I personally believe this will be pursued and developed---that's why I mention it here today. And I believe it is a dangerous path to destruction. I also believe it will be used far more for evil, than for good---ultimately.

We must be informed.

And: "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you are flows from it." Proverbs 4:23

Be informed. Be Aware. Be Vigilant.


6 comments:

  1. I was watching some talk on something called "the cloud" which is supposed to be something that will control all sorts of electrical devices, and it's supposed to have artificial intelligence, so what is all this about? It sounds crazy to me. God gave us our minds to serve him with, freely by our wills. My guess is, all of this will open people up to the demonic.

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  2. History teaches us that there is no "new thing" under the sun. Technology may be new but the motivation, the drive to use that technology is not. Repeatedly, mankind invents something new and great and can provide wonderful advantages. But with every advantage there remains a dark and deceitful use because we are born into sin and the god of this world would seek to use it and corrupt it for his purpose. I am never surprised about the latest and greatest device or method and how much our society is changed because of them. When we look away from God and allow these inventions to control us and to change how we relate to each other as human beings we set up the future that Jesus warned us about. Along with Mr. Randall I would urge you to "Be informed. Be Aware. Be Vigilant".

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  3. The longer term implication of this would be the ability to replicate our consciousness resulting in virtual immortality in any world we desire. It's a big leap, but many at the leading edge of technology believe it will happen. We will have the option of choosing to be our own God.

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  4. This smacks of the issue of the two trees: the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life (identified as Christ in the New Testament). We are admonished to "seek life." My sense is that even a pursuit of the good fruit of knowledge is ultimately a snare.

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  5. Kimberly Fourier9:17 PM, March 29, 2017

    I am 56 year old who was diagnosed 4 years ago with Parkinson's. I had severe calf pain, muscle pain, slurred speech, frequent falls, loss of balance, difficulty in getting up from sitting position, i was having a problem accepting my diagnosis, even though I read every thing I could find to read. I was put on Sinemet 3 times daily but it doesn't seem to be helping. I also had difficulty writing now. Getting in bed, turning over. i have had good luck with the other meds like Mirapex, but I was extremely tired of it. I have also noticed cognitive decline, but that is also related to a now-removed brain tumor.As the disease progressed all medication stopped working, i was introduced to Health herbal clinic in Johannesburg who have successful herbal treatment to Parkinson's and other lungs diseases. I spoke to few people who used the treatment here in USA and they all gave a positive response, so i immediately purchased the P.D herbal remedy and commenced usage, i used the herbal supplement for only 8 weeks, all symptoms were unbelievably reversed, herbs are truly gift from God.

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  6. That technology has existed since Adam and Eve. It's called submitting to the Holy Spirit and letting Him guide your life. God has perfect knowledge of all things. And better anD FASTER input than any computer which is ultimately governed or programed by someone else's will. Oh I know many think this approach of submitting to God, is "checking your brains at the door" but what is allowing a computer to control our thinking? Further when we pass into eternity where will our trusty computer be then? Talk about a new world order! Not for me! NO WAY!

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