Elon Musk showed live demo of Neuralink
Elon Musk announced a progress update for Neuralink, the corporate and technology that aims to make an immediate, ultra-low latency connection between our brains and our computers. In a lot of the way it’s quite sort of a fitbit in your skull with tiny wires. Neuralink wants to connect our brains to computers and now it’s showed off a device reading a pig’s brain signals in real time. But how does it work and will it turn you into a cyborg? Let’s break it all down for you-
Elon Musk is at it again this time he was unveiling a new brain computer interface it’s called the Neuralink and he says that one day it could cure everything from paralysis to blindness. So step one, the basics our brains are made up of billions of neurons cells with long spindly arms that send messages by electrical spikes those spikes and electricity travel between neurons in a chain reaction sending messages to the parts of our brain that control speech or movement for example when you move your arm that action started as an electrical spike up here, how Neuralink plans to read those electric spikes according to Neuralink, your brain cells are kind of like electrical wiring and rather than just having neurons sending electrical signals. Those signals could be sent and received by a chip Elon musk unveiled Neuralink’s implantable brain chip the link version 0.9. It’s a brain computer interface designed to be implanted directly into the brain by a surgical robot same day surgery without a big incision or general anesthesia you remove about a coin sized piece of skull and then you can just walk around right after right afterwards.
It’s pretty cool the chip plugs into your brain directly by a tiny microscopic threads they’re about 1 20th of the width of a human hair and they connect with the neurons in your brain to receive and send electrical signals importantly. Neuralink says these electrodes won’t damage your brain if they’re inserted very carefully so the robot actually images the brain and makes sure to avoid any veins or arteries. So that the electrodes are often inserted with no noticeable damage. You sort of think if you stab something with a wire surely it will bleed but actually at a really small scale it does not. Now I can’t believe I’m giving you specs on a brain chip but here we go it has an all-day battery life, wireless charging and it’s designed to wirelessly connect to your phone via Bluetooth with a range of 5 to 10 meters and the whole thing the chip the surgery. The full cyborg experience will start off expensive but musk says it’ll hopefully eventually only cost a couple of thousand dollars he wants it to be about as expensive as laser eye surgery. We’re going to sparkle brain and this is where it gets weird.
Elon musk did a demo and brought out three live pigs one without a brain implant one who’d had a link implanted and then had it removed without any issues and a third pig named Gertrude that had had a chip in for two months we got to see a live reading of the neurons in the pig’s brain firing in real time specifically the neurons that were sending and receiving Messages from her snout. So what you’re the beeps you’re hearing are real-time signals from the neural link in gotri’s head.
So this neural link connects to neurons that are in her snout so whenever she snuffles around and touches something with a snout but that sends out neural spikes which are detected here we also saw the chip predicting the pig’s movements based on brain activity and we saw the electrodes firing and stimulating neurons and lighting up different brain regions and that opens the door to some pretty game-changing applications for the link beyond creating some kind of pork borg. Neuralink’s head neurosurgeon Matthew McDougall said, the first trials of the link would be aimed at treating things like paraplegia the company said it received fda breakthrough device designation in July. Now that’s not the same as fda approval but it is a fast track to getting a medical device out in the field but Elon says,
Neuralink doesn’t want to stop there and that is where we go full galaxy brain there was talk of curing blindness by implanting the link in the visual cortex, treating mental health conditions like depression anxiety and addiction connecting the link to a heads up display so you could walk around like the terminator and then there were basic ideas telepathy replaying your own memories superhuman vision and the ability to see Ultraviolet light. And connecting your brain and uploading it into a robot and this is obviously sounding Increasingly like a black mirror episode everything that’s encoded in memory you could basically store your memories um as a backup and restore the memories.
Then ultimately you could potentially download them into a new body or into a robot body the future’s going to be weird a lot of these ideas are huge but we didn’t get any concrete timelines or really any idea of how they’d actually work so while the link could be amazing for treating things like spinal injuries. We don’t expect to turn into the terminator any time soon still it was amazing to see a brain working.
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