THE BATTLE for your brain is starting to hot up after Elon Musk announced that he intends to have a working brain-computer interface ready within four years, via his new company Neuralink.
The news comes just a day after Facebook revealed its own plans for brain to computer melding, in a less invasive way.
Musk's version is the full Harbisson, designed with biocompatible implants - almost like fitting the brain with a USB port, strictly with brain injury patients in mind. For disability, he believes that it can be done within the decade.
The work is based on Musk's fears about the rise of artificial intelligence eventually rendering the human race obsolete, and his belief that by "increasing bandwidth", then there's a chance that we can appeal to the robot overlords that we're fun to have around.
Hmmm. Sounds like Elon Musk should meet Harry Hill.
Musk's project was detailed in huge detail in Wait But Why, and they've offered a far more thorough analysis that we have room for here, so do take a look. It describes the concept as "a wizard hat — a brain interface so complete, so smooth, so biocompatible, and so high-bandwidth that it feels as much a part of you as your cortex and limbic system."
It goes on to talk about the concept of "conceptual telepathy", a sort of Bluetooth for thoughts, which if you didn't know how to control it properly could be an absolute mare.
Of course, such a system could do far more than meet the medical needs of a disabled person, but rather would likely be capable of wirelessly communicating with any computer system using the power of thought, and that's a lot of power to have.
But then it might work the other way, making the human brain open to hacking, an issue that as we know from Dick Cheney's pacemaker will be a dream come true for potential terrorists.
Alternatively, the level of bandwidth involved could just send a person bonkers and we could end up with an upscaled version of the Prom Scene from Carrie.
Damned if we do, damned if we don't it seems. µ
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