Elon Musk has revealed a pig named Gertrude with a coin-sized computer chip in its brain to showcase his future ambitious goal of forming a working brain-to-machine interface.”It’s kind of like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires,” Musk said on a webcast. The work was already in process as his new start-up Neuralink applied to initiate the computer chip human trials last year.
Interestingly, the interface would enable people with neurological conditions to have control over phones and other sorts of computers using their minds. The billionaire CEO argues such chips could source fully be used to help get rid of conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries. This sounds amazing as the new tech will provide relief to the sufferers of various diseases.
Neuralink’s long-term ambition is to lead us in an age of what Mr. Musk states as “superhuman cognition.” Gertrude was one of three pigs behind fences that were a part of Friday’s webcast demo. Gertrude took a while to get going, but when it ate and sniffed straw, the action showed up on a graph that was tracking its neural activity. Later in the demo, for most of the part, Gertrude ignored all the attention around her, and what was seen physically and on the graph were in perfect alignment, proving the device is effectively reading neuron activities.
The microprocessor in its brain sends out wireless signals, indicating neural activity in its nose while it looks for food. Mr. Musk said the original Neuralink device, unveiled over a year ago, had been simplified and hence came up with a smaller version. “It fits quite nicely in your skull. It could be under your hair, and you wouldn’t know.”
Neuralink was established in 2017, and the firm had to work hard for recruiting scientists. The latest demo was also an effort in tracing out professionals that will help Musk achieve his goals of creating a successful brain to machine interface.
The novel device by Neuralink contains a tiny probe that consists of around three-thousand electrodes connected to flexible threads that are way thinner than a human hair. The device is capable of monitoring the activities of a thousand brain neurons.
The most probable difficulty expected to be faced going forward with the tech is the complexity of the human brain. “Once Neuralink gets the recordings, it will need to decode them and will soon hit the barrier of getting to understand how a brain functions. However, it doesn’t matter how many neurons they use to record; it will still demonstrate a human mind working.
The demonstration drill with Gertrude will help the start-up understand the neural coding, which will further help in decoding ambitions of the Neuralink, respectively. Musk is a little over-committed when it comes to announcing newer techs. Most of us have seen that SpaceX and Tesla end up taking much more time to deliver than what Musk initially plans. Let’s see when we can witness some critical developments on the “working brain to machine interface.”