Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain chip – science fiction or the future?

Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain chip – science fiction or the future?

Elon Musk's Neuralink

Imagine a world where your thoughts control your devices. No more typing, swiping or even speaking. Elon Musk‘s Neuralink, a brain chip implant, promises this mind-blowing leap into the future. By merging human and machine intelligence, Neuralink could transform everything from medicine to communication. The wireless brain chip from entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Neuralink has been implanted in an actual person for the first time in 2024, a year after the test was approved. Musk declared that the patient “is recovering well” after receiving the implant.

The technology is intended to be used for multiple purposes, such as facilitating a brain-computer interface and helping people regain their motor function. Musk’s assertions were not independently verified, and Neuralink failed to offer many specifics.

Though ethical questions about the device and its testing have been raised, Musk has hailed Neuralink as the technology and medical breakthrough of the future. Here’s what you should know about Neuralink’s human testing.

What Is Elon Musk’s Brain Chip Neuralink?

The chief executive officer of Neurable, a technology business creating non-invasive interfaces between the brain and the computer in the form of headphones, Ramses Alcaide, stated that Neuralink, the tech firm, is creating a gadget “developed to link our minds directly to computers”. “Neuralink’s technology can record, decode, and send neural signals back to the brain through electrical stimulation” the company says.

How Does The Brain Chip Work?

Elon Musk’s brain chip, Neuralink, is a coin-sized device surgically placed in the skull to create the interface between the brain and the computer (BCI) through the insertion of incredibly thin wires. The Neuralink implant can be divided into two sections. The battery and circuitry are housed in the outer case. It rests on the cranium.

This comprises the Bluetooth chip/antenna and the device’s “brain.” Like transferring music to a set of wireless headphones, Neuralink uses wireless transmission to transfer data.

The second component is the neural lace, which entails implanting “1,024 electrodes spread across 64 threads” on the patient’s surface, beneath their skull. This portion of the surgery is performed by a robot surgeon because it requires precision that a human hand cannot provide.

This growing focus on technological precision in medicine paves the way for advancements like Neuralink’s brain chip, which uses a typical Bluetooth connection to capture brain activity and transmit it to a device, such as a smartphone. According to Musk, the first product, named Telepathy, will let users operate computers or phones “just by thinking.”

What Kind Of Testing Has Neuralink Done?

Neuralink used pigs and monkeys to test its technology. Through their Neuralink implants, the company displayed multiple monkeys “playing” simple video games or navigating a cursor across a screen.

Despite Neuralink’s claim that no monkeys have perished as a consequence of their implantation, problems with the devices on monkeys have been documented, including paralysis, convulsions and brain swelling.

Are Brain Chips The Future?

An online database of ongoing clinical studies in the United States indicates that about 40 brain-computer integration trials are now underway. In July 2022, a US patient received the gadget from Australia-based Synchron. Installing Synchron’s implant doesn’t involve making any incisions in the skull.

While Musk’s firm goes beyond that and aims to empower individuals to operate their cell phones and devices, other experiments focus on medical needs.

Risks And Controversies Of The  NeuraLink Brain Chip

Concerns have been expressed by experts over the use of Neuralink’s brain chip in animal experiments as well as possible hazards from brain surgery, including seizures or brain hemorrhage. They continue by saying that Musk’s idea of implants raises questions about surveillance and privacy.

Animals have been used in Neuralink hardware tests. Although the technique was demonstrated by the business in 2020 on a pig named Gertrude, it is also known that lambs and monkeys were used in animal experiments.

Reuters investigation found that, as a result, over 1,500 animals have died. Even though it happened before the company’s FDA authorization for human trials, this resulted in a government inquiry that was published in December 2022.

According to documents from the government agency that Reuters examined, Neuralink was penalized earlier this year by the US Ministry of Transportation for neglecting to register as a carrier of hazardous material, which is implants made from monkey brains.

By their very nature, these human experiments are not without peril. During the process, there is a chance of infection and brain injury. There is little information on users’ ability to control their neural activity and personal data.

Benefits Of The Neuralink Brain Chip

The company’s primary objective, according to the Neuralink website, is to assist those who have been rendered paralyzed in regaining their lost communication abilities. Its future goals include treating neurological conditions and regaining motor, sensory, and visual abilities.“By establishing a direct connection between the brain of an individual and digital devices, a Neuralink-like device offers the possibility to improve human memory, processing speed, and cognitive abilities,” stated Alcaide.

Regain Mobility

Exoskeletons and prostheses can be operated using brain-computer interfaces. Alcaide claims that this particular application would allow individuals who have lost limbs or are paralyzed to regain some degree of mobility and freedom.

Enhance Non-Verbal Communication

The primary goal of Neuralink is to facilitate communication between those who are incapable of writing or talking by giving them the ability to use a virtual keyboard and mouse or send messages with their thoughts. For instance, a person with paraplegia could use text synthesis or speech recognition to control a mobile device or computer, browse the internet, and produce digital art.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest