Elon Musk’s Neuralink: what’s science and what’s not

Elon Musk wants everyone to get brain surgery. Specifically, he wants everyone to get a brain implant — the brain-machine interface created by his company, Neuralink. He says it will be able to solve any number of medical conditions — including paralysis, anxiety, and addiction.

Machines that connect to the human brain and translate the electrical signals to a computer have been around since 2006. Since then, neuroscientists and engineers have made incremental improvements to that technology. Musk’s Neuralink slots into that work: the company developed a system of thin wires that snake into the brain, which may cause less damage than the usual rigid spikes. But Musk’s ambitions also go far beyond altering the architecture of…

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