Elon Musk Thinks Human Language Could Be Obsolete in Five Years

If Elon Musk gets his way, all human language will cease to exist in as little as five years. In a recent stop on The Joe Rogan Podcast, the serial entrepreneur predicted mankind would get to a point where it no longer uses traditional verbal communication to interact. Rather, Musk says technology will get to a point where tech-based brain implants will let people communicate without ever having to actually speak. Pretty gnarly, eh?

Musk — the mind behind the likes of SpaceX and Tesla — also founded Neuralink, a startup that's focused on exploring the aforementioned technologies. He even ended up going the length to say on the podcast the company could start the surgical procedures to implant the chips within a year.

“It can interface with anywhere in your brain, so it could be something that helps cure eyesight,” Musk told Rogan. “In principle it can fix almost anything that’s wrong with the brain.”

As Musk points out, the chip could theoretically cure various brain ailments — but what's that mean for linguistics and communication? The entrepreneur also says the chips would allow Person A to effectively communicate with Person B with what Musk calls "far more precision."

“You wouldn’t need to talk,” he added. “We could still do it for sentimental reasons. You would be able to communicate very quickly and with far more precision … I’m not sure what would happen to language. In a situation like this it would kind of be like The Matrix. You wanna speak in a different language? No problem, just download the program.“

Musk's been in the news for a whole variety of reasons this past week. First, he and his partner welcomed a baby boy into the world, which quickly went viral after they named him X Æ A-12. Then he appeared on Rogan's podcast, where he revealed all sorts of behind-the-scenes tidbits of his life, including the fact he's given up on making a real-life version of Tony Stark's mansion.

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"Yeah, definitely," Musk explained. "Yeah, you got to have the dome that opens up with the stealth helicopter!…But then I was like ‘Does it really make sense to spend time designing, and building a house? Or should I be allocating that time getting us to Mars. What's more important, Mars or a house? Mars.’ Okay, you can only do so many things."

Cover photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images