The telepathy technology that's currently being developed by Facebook and Elon Musk's Neuralink Corp is likely decades away from being viable, several experts with backgrounds in neuroscience and related fields told CNBC on Friday. While the 45-year-old business magnate and the Menlo Park-based tech giant recently made some ambitious announcements regarding mind-reading solutions that they're developing, at least some scientists are skeptical about the time frames that Neuralink and Facebook have given for the completion of their projects.
Andrew Pruszynksi, an expert in sensorimotor neuroscience and assistant professor at University of Western Ontario, Canada, said that research into the workings of the human brain in regards to the way it reacts to sensory input to prompt physical actions and related responses is something that top neuroscientists have been pursuing for over half a century and still aren't close to solving this "outlandishly difficult problem." Accurately analyzing neural activity to a degree that scientists can track the portions of the brain that record sensory input in real time is not an easy task, not to mention the subsequent tracking of the brain's process of relaying information to the peripheral nervous system that controls limbs, Pruszynksi argues. Graeme Moffat, VP of brainwave-based technology firm InteraXon, agreed with that notion, saying how science is "more than a few years" away from pairing human brains with machines in an effort to develop a real-time user interface that can be used for a thought-to-text solution that Facebook's VP of Engineering Regina Dugan said will be completed in the near future.
While scientists remain highly skeptical about the release windows given by Musk's Neuralink and Facebook's Building 8 for their telepathy-based technologies, virtually all experts in the field welcome their newfound focus on neuroscience and mind-reading tech, something that has been piquing curiosity of scientists for decades but was so far largely unexplored by the private sector. Though Neuralink and Facebook's projects are based on similar concepts, their ultimate goals are different seeing how the Menlo Park-based company said it's looking to facilitate and revolutionize communications while Musk wants to ensure that future humans will be capable of keeping up with AI-powered machines by being augmented with such solutions themselves. In any case, an update on their telepathy-related efforts is expected to follow in the near future.