In his attempt to create a ‘futuristic’ world of technology, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has gone a notch higher and developed his latest brainchild, NeuraLink AI brain chip.
In 2016, Elon Musk co-formed NeuraLink, a neural tech company that seeks to develop a brain-machine component that uses tiny chips that can wirelessly read and write human brain activity.
On Friday, August 29, Musk unveiled the Link VO.9 prototype in a live webcast demo.
The brain chip if successfully developed and commercialized will enable human beings use their brains to seamlessly control devices such as personal computers and mobile phones.
In the Friday webcast, the ambitious Musk said ‘the brain chip is like a fitbit that nicely fits
under your skull, and that it could be under your hair and you would never know,’
The Tesla CEO said his innovative idea will in the end be critical in curing people suffering from conditions such as brain damage, loss of memory, paralysis, anxiety and even depression.
Musk during the demo used a pig named Gertrude to give enthusiastic audience a demo of how the implant works.
“This is a healthy, happy pig; it is indistinguishable from a normal pig.” Musk said.
The pig had the VO.9 chip inserted in its brain a few months ago and the brains activities were relayed on a screen which showed graphical waves firing the moment the brain communicated as the pig ate.
During the demo, Musk told viewers that the chip was able to read signals from the pig’s limbs.
While the CEO noted that it is still a complicated process, NeuraLink was moving towards human trials pending government’s approval.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration according to Musk have given his project a greenlight, saying that the prototype is a ‘breakthrough device.’
How does the Link get inserted into the brain?
NeuraLink involves a simple surgical procedure which takes less than 60 minutes when a robot performs it although humans can also do it without requiring anesthesia.
“If the electrodes are inserted very carefully, there’s no bleeding,” Musk further said.
The live demo also had another pig named Dorothy whose chip was inserted then removed
to prove that human beings can still live a healthy life after the device is ejected from the brain.
Since 2016, NeuraLink has carried out tests on monkeys and the results showed the ability to control computers using their brains.
There are however obstacles facing the current exploration and research, with the CEO saying that the process is difficult and needs professional medical experts for skull protrusions, a procedure that poses infection risks to the brain.
In spite of the aura and enthusiasm exuded by NeuraLink, Musk worries that artificial intelligence is dangerous for humans.
“Even in a benign AI scenario, we will be left behind.”
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