Elon Musk Cyborg Projects: What to Expect From the Future of Human Enhancement

Elon Musk Cyborg Projects: What to Expect From the Future of Human Enhancement


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Elon Musk is a man with big ambitions. The billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX recently launched another company, called Neuralink, with the goal of merging human and artificial intelligence. 

He also plans on launching a venture that can help people merge their minds with computers to achieve a sort of superintelligence that would help us tackle problems like climate change and disease. 

If Musk sounds more like the m*d scientist protagonist of a cyberpunk novel than the head of an automobile and rocket launch company, that’s because he most likely is both those things at once. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen someone in business give voice to these ideas about merging humans and technology in new ways. This is something that the is yet to be taped into as We’ll take a look at some of the history behind Cyborg thinking and what it might mean for our future.

Info: This post mean no harm and is not written to cause issues of misjudge. 

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Where Does the Idea of Cyborging Come From?

The word “cyborg” itself was coined in 1960 by Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline, two researchers interested in the medical applications of cybernetics. They thought that the term “robots” had been tainted by pop culture, particularly the image of a man-machine like the Terminator. Cyborg, they thought, evoked a more functional, symbiotic image of human-machine integration. 

Cyborg theories emerged as early as the 1930s, when scientists like Norbert Wiener and John von Neumann began looking at the potential of communication and computation in a new light. 

The ideas about cybernetics and information theory would begin to shape the kinds of technologies that would be developed in the Post World War II era. Cyborg ideas have persisted through time in science fiction literature, film, and video games. 

However, their persistence in the popular culture has also made them something more like “folk knowledge”: Cyborg concepts are now common enough that they are no longer the stuff of sci-fi, but present in our day-to-day lives.

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The Past is Present: Why Cyborg Concepts Are No Longer Sci-Fi

The idea of merging flesh and technology is not something reserved for movies or speculative fiction. In fact, humans have been augmenting their bodies with tools for thousands of years. They’ve been using tools like crutches, canes, hearing aids, and glasses for mobility, communication, and vision long before electricity was even discovered. 

The first pacemaker was implanted in 1958, and the first artificial heart was implanted in 1982. Even the use of computers to assist in mental tasks is a form of cyborg augmentation. 

Neuro feedback is an example that uses computers to read and respond to brainwaves in real time to help users achieve mental states like focus, relaxation, or even lucid dreaming.

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Musk’s Cyborg Vision: What Could It Be?

Musk’s concept of cyborg-human integration involves the use of a computer chip that could be implanted in the human brain (neural lacing). This chip would allow the user to interface with computers with their brain, thereby opening up a whole new realm of human-machine collaboration. 

Musk’s ambition is to create a machine that merges human intelligence with artificial intelligence to create a superintelligence. That’s where his other company, Neuralink, comes in. Neuralink is a start-up that aims to create a machine that would allow humans to link their brains with artificial intelligence to face down existential risk. 

Also, one of Musk’s stated goals is to create a device that would allow someone to think a phone call and have the call come through just as if they had dialed it manually. Such a device could serve as a sort of interface between human and artificial intelligence.

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Cyborg theory and the concept of cyborging have gained traction in the business world, particularly among ventures that rely on human-machine collaboration like artificial intelligence, adaptive technologies like self-driving cars, (like Musks' Tesla) and even medical devices that are implanted in the human body.(like Musks' Neuralink). 

The continued growth of cyborg theory and its permeation into business and culture seem to indicate that our relationship with technology is headed in an important direction. 

While some might think of cyborg augmentation as a dangerous or undesirable shift, cyborg concepts can also be thought of as a way for humans to evolve into new forms of existence.

photo credits: pexels

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