Elon Musk, the founder of trendsetter and futuristic companies like Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity has announced another breakthrough technology project called Neuralink on late Tuesday. Elon Musk has shared the details on new technology that would allow humans to transmit data straight from their brains to their computers. Musk’s Neuralink project is expected to start the clinical trials on humans by the end of 2020.
In a white paper published by the company on July 16, the Neuralink has claimed to have several advantages and process of brain-computer interfaces in development. The threads “are a better match for the material properties of brain tissue than commonly used silicon probes” and allow for greater flexibility about where those connections are inserted into the brain.
What is Neuralink?
Neuralink is the latest startup of Elon Musk which was announced back in 2017. Neuralink is probably going to be the next big thing in the tech industry. There wasn’t much information about the Neurolink and what the company was working on until its announcement on Tuesday.
The team was formed with experts to conceptualize the idea and work started under the supervision of Musk. On 16th July they shared the progress they have made so far at an event in San Francisco in order to recruit talent in robotics, software engineering and neuroscience. They unveiled an early version of a microchip with hair-thin strands that can be implanted in the brain through a small incision by a robot.
How Neuralink will Work?
Small holes will be drilled into the head of humans who will decide to embed Neuralink wires in their brains. Neuralink will thread wires into the brain and patch the skull holes with a computer chip, which can connect wirelessly to an iPhone app. The company touted its innovation around those threads as a big breakthrough toward a functional brain-computer interface.
The device would work by taking a number of “threads” or otherwise just thin wires that contain electrodes, they will receive electrical signals from neurons. The chip would then interpret the data and relay the data to a pod, worn behind the ear like a hearing aid, that would use Bluetooth to feed that data to a phone or other smart device running the required software.
The prototype that was shown, the chip has 1,024 electrodes worth of threads which equates to 10 times more data acquisition than currently possible with available medical devices.
However, Elon Musk has made it clear that this progress will be slow and human trials will be a long process. He will be seeking to get FDA approval for these implants.
What Would be the Advantage Neuralink?
It would be too soon to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of connecting the human’s brain directly with the computer or mobile phones. Neurolink is just the beginning, now, more and more tech companies will step into similar technology and soon such companies will also explore the possibilities and potential of the technology. Elon Musk’s Neurolink might be the first baby step towards reducing the gaps between Human and Humanoid robots.
“Unless we have some sort of brain-machine interface that can solve brain ailments of all kinds, whether it’s an accident or congenital, any kind of disorder or a spinal disorder, we can solve that with a chip,” Musk said during the announcing the Neurolink.