Elon Musk Neuralink has just put a computer chip in human brain. His startup called Neuralink has started human trials.
Elon Musk Twitter post says, “The first human received an implant from Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well. Initial results show promising neuron spike detection”.
Musk cofounded Neuralink in 2016, and now 8 years later they have their first human test subject.
They are using the technology called Brain Computer Interface (BCI). The technology will allow people to control machines with their thoughts.
Musk had a follow-up post on X and says, “This is the first product of Neuralink and it is called Telepathy. It will allow you to control your phone or computer, just by thinking, and through them you can control other devices. Initial users will be those who lost the use of their limbs.”
If it works it could be a game changer, especially for the people with some form of paralysis. They could benefit immensely from technology like this.
Musk says they will be the first recipients. He wrote and quoted,” Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal”.
How does Elon Musk Neuralink technology works:
As we know so far, computer chip and other electronics will be inserted into the brain. This is a coin sized link in Neralink. The chip will be battery operated and can be charged wirelessly. This chip will be inserted by a special surgical robot and not by a trained neurosurgeon. This is because one part of the link has wires directly hooked up to your brain.
It is so intricate that apparently it cannot be done by humans. These wires or threads monitor your brain activity, they will read your thoughts and pass them on to the chip. The chip will then send a signal to an App on your Phone or Computer. This is how the whole set up works. It sounds complicated but not exactly revolutionary.
Are there other companies who have done this before Neuralink?
The answer is “yes”. There are many companies who have been working on this Brain Computer Interface (BCI) for years. All the devices let people control a robotic arm with their mind. It has been done before.
One similar device is known as Utah array, was first demonstrated in human in 2004. According to Bloomberg, many competitors have entered the field, including Synchrony and Precision Neuroscience.
Then what makes Elon Musk Neuralink special?
Their device captures a huge amount of brain signals rapidly. The other chips that exit are slower. Neuralink device contains more than 1,000 electrodes, which helps capturing a large volume of the brain signals with pace. They may not allow for what Musk wants to do. Because helping people without limbs is just a beginning. He eventually wants an advanced Brain Computer Interface.
Imagine driving a smart car in your thoughts or playing video games with your mind or accessing information on the internet through your brian! The possibilities are endless. There is a reason Musk is calling this first product “Telepathy”. It sets the tone for is to come. Eventually we could reach new heights of human capabilities.
Drawbacks and Threats of such chips:
Hacking: Imagine someone hacking your brain chip, reading your thoughts, controlling your robotic limbs. It’s terrifying prospects. Someone would likely manage to do it so we have to be cautious.
Such brain chips may help millions of people. Elon Musk Neuarlink has taken a crucial step toward this. We see how the human test subject reacts to the Nauralink chip.
The next few weeks will tell us how far the technology is and how long until you get such a chip in stores near you.