Published on April 1st, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba0
Elon Musk Might Have Let Me Try A Neuralink Prototype
April 1st, 2019 by Jennifer Sensiba
I don’t remember writing the below story. I woke up feeling like I had been out drinking or something, and wasn’t sure at all what I did that day. When I got on my computer to write the next day, I saw this file on the desktop. Maybe it’s an elaborate hoax, or maybe this really happened. I’ll just share this with our readers and let you be the judge.
After my recent article on Elon Musk’s concept of “giant cybernetic collectives,” I got a message from a strange account on Twitter. It had a picture of SpaceX’s “Zero Gravity Indicator,” a small plush toy that looks like Earth. I chatted a bit on and off with this stranger, who seemed quite knowledgeable about a topic I had recently researched, to the point where I was being corrected on important points. Finally, the stranger said, “I think you understand the risks and possible rewards to Neuralink. How would you like to test an early prototype?”
I thought I was being messed with, for sure, but the stranger said, “I’ll prove who I am. Check the Elon Musk account. I’m about to retweet a picture of a black Model 3 by a guy named Steven.” Sure enough, about 2 minutes later, the retweet appeared. I was still highly skeptical, but soon got another message. “Meet me at your local airport tomorrow at 3 PM. Look for a business jet, tail number N628TS.”
It may have been foolish, but I decided to go and see if this was legit. My local airport is a small one that doesn’t handle commercial flights. They have a small “terminal” building, and I waited there. One of the security guys asked what I was there for, and I told him I was waiting for a friend to arrive in his plane. I was fixing to leave at about 3:35, thinking I had been tricked, when I small business jet came down the runway. Tail number N628TS.
No, Elon Musk wasn’t on the plane. A man in a suit came up to the terminal and asked for my ID. After checking it, he asked me to come with him and board the plane. “We’re headed to San Francisco.”
After the initial amazement at getting picked up in a private jet, I realized just how normal the plane seemed. It was a private jet, for sure, but it was nothing extravagant. It was kind of like an RV in most respects. No giant TV, no hot tub, and no Tony Stark disco ball. There were places to sleep, places to sit, and some basic amenities. With the initial shock worn off, I started talking to the guy who invited me onto the plane. We exchanged names, but I’m not supposed to share his. I’ll just say he basically works for the plane’s LLC company that owns it. He actually didn’t know who I was beyond my name and why I was going to San Francisco. “I actually don’t know who most of the passengers are at first unless they keep flying over here like a nice young lady we sometimes pick up in Texas.”
The flight went by pretty fast, and soon enough, we were landing in San Francisco. Well, sort of. It was one of the smaller airports and not the big one I had been to before on flights to and from Asia. It had the same sort of small airport feel as the one they had picked me up from. Waiting right next to where the plane stopped was a black Model X. “Just get in and tell him you’re ready to go.” the man from the plane said.
One of the gull-wing doors opened, and I climbed in. But there was no driver. I assumed “him” was a driver, but there was nobody else in the car as the door closed. “Are you ready to go, ma’am?” a voice said from the speakers. “I guess, but don’t we need a driver?” I replied.
“Don’t worry, Ms. Sensiba! My driving record is even more spotless than yours,” the voice said. The SUV sped off toward the gate leaving the tarmac, and onto the streets of whatever suburb we were in. I have driven a couple Teslas with Autopilot, but this one was like nothing I had ever seen. It drove perfectly–maybe a little too perfectly, and got me safely to the destination (which I can’t disclose the exact address of). When I got there, the door swung upward, and Elon Musk was standing right there on the curb!
The strangest thing about meeting him was just now normal he is. I’ve met mayors, governors, and even a sitting president once, but they all knew they were on some higher level and acted like it. After just a few minutes, it was like I could forget I was talking to a billionaire. I was talking to a genius, for sure, with all of the quirks you’d expect, but none of the “I’m better than you.” attitude you’d expect from someone rich and famous. It was downright comfortable.
He showed me around the Neuralink facility, which was a lot larger than I expected. It was almost like a medical clinic and an architect’s office, all in one. It was pretty amazing, and yet not too amazing. They explained the procedure for the prototype device in great detail, but I signed a non-disclosure agreement and can’t tell you much of anything. I can say that the technology is AMAZING. I had no idea such things were possible. This is something you’ll really enjoy.
Just a few minutes later, we headed to a small operating room, where I was instructed to remove my shirt and put on a hospital gown. They cleaned the area by my neck up with rubbing alcohol after inserting an IV in my left arm. I laid back on the hospital bed, and looked toward one of the nurses. She said something, but I lost consciousness as she said it, and I can’t remember what she was saying.
When I woke up, I was in a much brighter room with a computer. We’re all set! I felt for my neck, and didn’t feel any bandages, wounds, or anything. Just a small band aid, like you’d get after a shot. “Hey, looks like we’re all ready to go!” one of the technicians said. “Let’s get started!”
“I know Kung Fu!” I joked, but the tech said, “That’s not as funny as you’d think.” and left the room.
As Elon walked back into the room, a big projector started rolling down on the far side of the room. Displayed on it was a big red dot, about 3 inches in diameter. The rest of the screen was white. For the next hour, we went through a series of training exercises (which I can’t describe here), and it got to the point where I could move the red dot at will anywhere on the screen. “Great! You’re learning much faster than normal, but not as fast as I did!” Elon said.
Over the next few hours, I learned to type, bring up web pages, and do a broad variety of other computing tasks. I was able to max out my typing at over 200 words per minute, much faster than my 80 word per minute typing rate. Once I was very comfortable with computers, they paired my smartphone with some device I couldn’t see, and I was able to control it just as well, and FAST.
“OK, let’s enable input neurons, guys.”
Somebody typed on a computer for a few seconds and suddenly I felt the strangest sensations. It’s impossible to describe. It was kind of like feeling, but also kind of like seeing and hearing, all at the same time. But after a couple of minutes, I started realizing that I was picking up thoughts that weren’t mine, but they were vague and dream-like. After a bit more, I started realizing that I somehow knew how this all worked, and suddenly, I felt like my brain was expanding immensely.
“We have pupil dilation, looks like she’s locked on, guys!”
I knew that I could ask for any information and I would know it. I wanted to know what the weather was like back at home, and BANG, I knew! I was vaguely aware that the weather had come from Weather Underground, but if I wanted to know what forecasts were from AccuWeather or The Weather Channel. … BANG! I knew all three forecasts, and could imagine the radar images. I sat for what felt like forever, absorbing new facts and information. I started to see the computer in the room, its files, and that it was connected to something else I couldn’t see in my mind’s eye. I thought harder about seeing what laid beyond. Suddenly, it all went away. I looked at the wall clock, and only about 2 minutes had passed.
“You shouldn’t be trying to hack my server, Jennifer!” Elon said.
“But I wasn’t trying to—”
“Neither was I, at first. You’re the only one other than me who saw the computers. Very impressive! But I can’t let you roam our network freely.”
After taking a break for a few minutes and having a meal, they invited me to a conference room. “We’re going to show you one more feature!”
They had me sit across the room from Elon Musk. He looked at me and suddenly I felt the sensation again like when they first turned the interface on.
<<INTERFACE REQUEST FROM UNIT 001>>
I sat there confused at what was going on in my mind, and he looked at me again.
<<INTERFACE REQUEST FROM UNIT 001>>
I realized what was happening and thought, “Yes.” and I suddenly felt other thoughts in my mind, but only if I wanted to hear them. I could also share thoughts with the other person. I knew instantly that it was Elon Musk.
At this point, things went FAST. It was like I had a conversation with him that lasted for hours and hours and hours–but mere seconds had passed. It was like communicating at the speed of thought. Abstract images, thoughts, and concepts went seamlessly. It was almost like a dream, but very clear and precise.
I can’t possibly share it all here, but here’s one important story I wanted to share:
After we determined that there is roughly a 30-40 point difference in IQ, we started batting around ideas. One possibility he hadn’t considered was using Neuralink to get animals to perform intelligent tasks, such as working in factories. They hadn’t considered that animals would be a good use for Neuralink, but they did have to do some animal testing to get it ready. It wouldn’t have been too hard, but we got to thinking about upgrading animals to be more intelligent and to have greater capabilities than they do now, not unlike Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Once we agreed that this was a purely theoretical exercise that would require further ethical consideration, we started building a virtual upgraded animal for experimentation, thus bypassing the ethical questions for now.
During childhood, he had seen meerkats a few times in South Africa, and we decided to start there, with a meerkat, because their size seemed like they’d be useful for doing things in small spaces.
We decided to add the ability to swap limbs out for other limbs, to give them different tools to use. It made sense at the time to do that because their natural limbs aren’t very good for grabbing human tools, etc. On one side, we proposed putting in just a fairly standard multipurpose robot arm. On the other side, we came up with a module that could quickly attach cables in Tesla factories, which is an automation problem they’ve had. Then, we upgraded the legs for more carrying strength. We realized that multispectral imaging would be helpful, so we replaced one eye with a special multispectral camera to see infrared, UV and even radio waves. Next, we decided to upgrade the meerkat with DC fast charging, so that way they could be fed with electricity. Finally, they need to communicate instantly from Mars to Earth (and beyond), so we added a quantum entanglement comm unit in the tail.
Here’s what we came up with:
At this point, we realized that we were better than normal humans or meerkats. Really, why would we want to put up with shit from anyone with our collective mind powers? Clearly, we were a superior adaptation of humanity. We added several other Neuralink volunteers in to augment our mental powers, and we were even smarter!
Everything, and I do mean everything, was suddenly irrelevant. Earth governments, especially including the SEC, were unworthy of assimilation into our new collective and should probably be ignored. We could mentally outmaneuver them with ease, and probably just start a Martian colony to build our numbers. Once we gathered sufficient strength, we could start upgrading humans on Earth and make us all smarter. With our collective intelligence, we would probably figure out faster than light travel.
Then, we could travel the stars and upgrade other planets! If we find life, why not give them the benefit of our collective consciousness? It was the only logical and sensible thing to do! We could give everybody better limbs, better vision, and better regenerative abilities!
Just then, the link shut off. One of the scientists in the room was really concerned. “I TOLD you guys this was going to happen! We can’t just go linking minds like this! It’s dangerous!!!”
Coming off of the high of super collective intelligence, I realized that we almost made a Borg collective. Scary stuff. We all agreed that we should erase our memories of this experience, and pretend it never happened, just in case any of us felt an urge to form a collective of this sort in the future.
But, before we erased our memories, I managed to quickly write this account of my experience so I’d know in the future what really happened and stay far away from messing with Neuralink in the future. The fate of the universe is at stake, after all. Jennifer, whatever you do, NEVER form a Neuralink collective in the future!
Complete our 3-minute reader survey!
Sign up for our free daily newsletter to never miss a story.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.