Elon Musk's Neuralink touts its brain chip as a way to help people suffering with mobility issues regain control of their lives, but has also proposed using the technology to merge humans with computer.
The move would provide the average person with super-human intelligence that hooks their brain up to the cloud where memories can be stored, thoughts can be exchanged and experiences can be had.
Although the abilities of an implanted chip may sound limitless, such wonders come with great responsibilities that Musk, scientists and other companies need to address – specifically privacy.
'If the widespread use becomes hooking us to the cloud, not as therapies, and merge humans with AI the economic model will be to sell our data,' Dr. Susan Schneider, the founding director of the new Center for the Future Mind, told Daily Mail.
'Our inner most thoughts would be sold to the highest bidder. Also, do we need subscription that we pay for? What if for powers get ahold of our thoughts?'
Musk's Neuralink has stolen the show in the industry with neurons firing off in a pig and the latest with a monkey controlling a video game with its mind.
Although the billionaire's demonstrations have the glitz and glam, many experts in the field are unsure where Neurlink's path is headed.
'Neuralink has not been clear about their goals for the device. All we can go on is Musk's Tweets, and the live demos and blog posts that the company has released,' Anna Wexler, assistant professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, told Daily Mail.
'They are making progress on the technical side, something that was clear from their April 2021 blog post.
'My sense is that they are aiming first to give users control over a device (i.e., the ability to move a cursor on a screen).
'Note that this has been possible for some time now, so it wouldn't be the first time that something like this has been done.
'Musk tweeted that later versions of the technology could be used to help 'paraplegics to walk again' but that is extremely far off and an infinitely more complex challenge.
Nueralink is not the only brain chip maker in the game, BrainGate is another well-known name that has proven its technology in human trials.
However, the difference is that BrainGate only recently developed a wireless system – before subjects could only use the technology in a lab.
The latest device, announced earlier this month, cut the long cables connected to the transmitter and replaced them with a small transmitter that sits atop the user's head.
The trials showed two men paralyzed by spinal injuries were able to type and click on a tablet just by thinking of the action, and did so with similar point-and-click accuracy and typing speeds as those with a wired system.
Although brain chips are showing promising results in the medical field, many others see them as a way to expand our intelligence and as a weapon against 'soon-to-be' powerful AI that could open up humans to a new world of issues.
'If people need to get brain implants to keep up with AI, what happens if they lose the ability to pay for maintenance,' Schneider explained.
'What if I upload my thoughts to the cloud, such as my child's first years memories pay to keep those.'
Nueralink is not the only brain chip maker in the game, BrainGate is another well-known name that has proven its technology in human trials. The trials showed two men paralyzed by spinal injuries were able to type and click on a tablet just by thinking of the action
'What if I have to pay and I can't? It becomes quiet challenging with how we keep our thoughts private and ownership of our own thoughts.
Schneider also highlighted Facebook's reach into brain chips, noting that this company have access to our thoughts is somewhat worrying.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared plans in 2019 for a wearable device that can read people's thoughts.
At an ongoing discussion series run by Facebook, Zuckerberg talked about the idea of technology that can translate brain signals into useful information for machines in two distinct arenas.
'The goal is to eventually make it so that you can think something and control something in virtual or augmented reality,' said Zuckerberg, in a the discussion which also included Dr. Joe DeRisi and Dr. Steve Quake of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, a medical science research center funded by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.
However, Schneider sees the technology doing more than heightening a gaming experience.
'I can image Facebook harvesting our inner most thoughts to get people addicted to their platform,' she said.
'It is all about what is about going on in the head and marketing what is going on in the head.'