About two years ago, Elon Musk announced Neuralink – a startup that was aimed at creating brain-machine interfaces that would enable us to connect brains to machines. The company has finally announced the progress that it has made so far and also told the world about its future plans that include implanting the first chips in humans during the coming year.
The need for Neuralink exists for multiple reasons. Keeping them aside, there are certain ways of connecting brains to machines. The conventional methods involve making use of electrodes on the scalp or implant them into the brain for picking up the electrical signals that are being emitted by the brain and then decoding them for different applications. test
These brainwaves could then, potentially, be used for controlling drones or even an exoskeleton. However, as of right now, these electrodes are quite limited in terms of the amount of information that they can pick up from the brain and it one of the critical issues that Neuralink will be solving. Musk says that the motivation for coming up with a new and enhanced brain-machine interface is first to gain a better understanding of brain disorders and treating them. The end goal is to be able to achieve a kind of ‘symbiosis’ using artificially intelligent machines instead of letting them leave us behind.
He said, ‘With a high bandwidth brain-machine interface we can actually go along for the ride, and we can have the option of merging with AI.’ In the recent presentation, Musk along with other key figures at Nueralink explained the new sort of brain-machine interface that comes with a plethora of improvements, thus greatly increasing the bandwidth that these devices are capable of.
Neuralink’s first electrode array is a small chip that has been named N1. It has 1,000 channels, and as opposed to the stiff electrodes that pose a threat of injury, the N1 relies on an array of small and flexible threads. These are sewn into the brain tissue using a robotic surgeon that has also been developed by Neuralink. N1 sensors would be capable of reading the brain’s signals or stimulating the brain using its own signals if there is a need for it at bandwidths that are much more than what is currently possible.
According to Elon Musk, ‘It has tremendous potential, and we hope to have this in a human patient by the end of next year.’ What do you think? Do let us know!