Forgive my cynicism but even with machine learning algorithms, the leap from moving a prosthesis to more meaningful interaction with the brain is actually enormous. The problem is that Musk is a great spinner of yarns, and few people have sufficient domain knowledge across multiple areas to assess the credibility of his claims. Computer scientists understand very little about the human brain (hence the fifty-year failure of attempts at AI) and neurologists have almost no understanding of how ML/AI works. So it’s easy to get excited by the progress made to date, but in reality we’re as far from a real general-purpose neural interface as the Babbage Difference Engine was from today’s smartphone.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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