Neuralink event as it happened: Elon Musk unveils technology connecting human brain to computers

Anthony Cuthbertson
Friday 28 August 2020 23:22
Elon Musk unveils working Neuralink chip that connects human brain directly to computer

Elon Musk has demonstrated a functional brain-computer interface developed by his Neuralink startup.

It is only the second public event of the neurotechnology startup since it was founded in 2016 and the ultimate aim is to merge humans with artificial intelligence.

"It's kind of like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires," he said.

"I could have a Neuralink right now and you wouldn't even know. Maybe I do."

Neuralink's full live stream can be viewed below.

All the big announcements can also be viewed in our live blog.

Please wait a moment for the live blog to load.


Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of Elon Musk's Neuralink event. It is only the second public event that the mysterious nanotechnology startup has held since 2016 and little is known about what to expect. 

The Tesla and SpaceX boss has dropped a few hints though, and this week promised to show a working demonstration of the brain-computer interface.

Stick with us for all the latest build-up and announcements.

anthony.cuthbertson28 August 2020 21:53

Elon Musk has made several bold claims about what Neuralink's technology will be capable of the future. Earlier this year he said it would render human language obsolete in as few as five years, as it would enable telepathic communication.

anthony.cuthbertson28 August 2020 22:05

What we're more likely to see today are examples of more near-term applications, which will aim to treat brain diseases like Parkinson's.

anthony.cuthbertson28 August 2020 22:07

During the 2019 Neuralink event, Elon Musk said: "After solving a bunch of brain-related diseases... it will create a well-aligned future... and ultimately achieve a sort of symbiosis with artificial intelligence."

He said at the time that human trials would begin in 2020 but there's yet to be any news of that happening. Maybe today? We've got less than an hour to go to find out. 

anthony.cuthbertson28 August 2020 22:10

In that same event, Neuralink unveiled a robot that would perform the operation to link a human brain to a computer. Musk described it as a "sewing machine-like device."

anthony.cuthbertson28 August 2020 22:11

It's unlikely we're going to see anything anywhere near a consumer device today. This from Elon Musk a couple of hours ago:

anthony.cuthbertson28 August 2020 22:18

As the boss of SpaceX, Tesla, and tunnel-digging startup The Boring Company, Elon Musk has a lot to juggle. Neuralink is by far the most mysterious and arguably the most ambitious of all his ventures, aiming to help humans compete with advanced artificial intelligence - and not become their pets.

He has often described AI as the biggest existential threat to humanity, and in 2014 - two years before he founded Neuralink - he said: "There have been movies about this, you know, like Terminator. There are some scary outcomes. And we should try to make sure the outcomes are good, not bad."

anthony.cuthbertson28 August 2020 22:34

With so many commitments, it's not surprising that his live events don't always go to plan. It is less than a year since this happened at the unveiling of the Tesla Cybertruck. I dread to think what the equivalent mishap would be for a brain-computer chip unveiling.

anthony.cuthbertson28 August 2020 22:45

Just 10 minutes to go...

anthony.cuthbertson28 August 2020 22:51

Still waiting for the event to begin. It's not uncommon for such events to be a few minutes behind schedule.

anthony.cuthbertson28 August 2020 23:03

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