Elon Musk, the world’s most restless entrepreneur, has embarked on yet another venture. Not satisfied with reusable rockets, electric cars, giant batteries, vacuum trains and underground roads, his latest firm, Neuralink, hopes one day to build a working brain-machine interface (BMI), which would let its user control computers simply by thinking. The idea is not new but Musk’s involvement will sprinkle it with stardust.
As any entrepreneur will tell you, the first thing your product needs is a catchy name. “Brain-machine interface” is a bit clunky, so Musk has plumped instead for “neural lace”, which is short, memorable and glamorous. Science fiction fans will recognise it from the “Culture” novels of Iain M. Banks, a Scottish writer who died in 2013. In those novels, a neural lace is a BMI that is implanted when a person is young.
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