Elon Musk’s Neuralink looks to begin outfitting human brains with faster input and output starting next year

Elon Musk’s Neuralink will provide the human brain with faster inputs and outputs from next year

Neuralink, the start-up sponsored by Elon Musk, founded by the multi-entrepreneur in 2017, is working on a “wired” technology supposed to be implantable in the human brain, with a potential impact on the surrounding brain tissue The much lower levels today are used for the current brain-computer interfaces. “Most people do not know that we can do it with a chip,” said Musk at the beginning of the Neuralink event, referring to some brain disorders and problems that the company wanted to solve.

Musk also said that Neuralink’s long-term goal is to find a way to “achieve a symbiosis of artificial intelligence.” He continued, “It’s not a convincing thing, you can choose that, if you want.”

Currently, however, the target is medical and it is planned to use a robot developed by Neuralink that functions as a “sewing machine” to implant these incredibly thin wires (between 4 and 6 μm) about a third of the diameter of the thinnest Human Hair (deep within a person’s brain tissue), where he can read and write very large volumes of data.

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All of this seems incredibly far-fetched and the rest to a certain extent: Neuralink scientists told the New York Times at a press conference Monday that the company still had “a long way to go” before offer a commercial service. can. The main reason for breaking the blanket and talking more freely about what they are working on, as the newspaper reports, is that they will be better able to work in the open air and publish newspapers, which is without a doubt a simpler solution. This requires so many links with the academic and research community.

Max Hodak, co-founder and president of Neuralink, told the NYT that his optimistic neuralink technology could theoretically be used soon in the medical field, including potential applications that allow amputees to use prosthetics and reverse vision, Deficiency hearing or other sensory impairment to become mobile again. We hope to be able to work with human subjects as early as next year, including through possible collaboration with neurosurgeons from Stanford and other institutions.

The current incarnation of Neuralink’s technology would involve drilling real holes in a subject’s skull to insert the ultra-thin threads. Future iterations, however, will shift to using lasers to create tiny, less invasive holes that are essentially unaffected by a patient. Hodak told the newspaper. It may seem unlikely to work with people with something similar to this description for a relatively new company next year, but this week, Neuralink presented its technology to a laboratory rat, achieving higher levels of performance than traditional systems. current data transmission. The rat data were collected via a USB-C port in the head and, according to Bloomberg, were delivered about ten times more efficient than the best current sensors.

Among Neurlalink’s advances over current BCI methods is the combined thinness and flexibility of the “threads” used. However, a scientist wonders about their longevity when exposed to the brain, which contains a mixed salt-based liquid that can damage plastics and degrade over time. The plan also provides for electrodes implanted in the brain to communicate wirelessly with chips outside the brain, allowing real-time monitoring with unprecedented freedom of movement, without wires or external connections.

Elon Musk finances most of this project and acts as CEO. That’s $ 100 million out of the $ 158 million he has accumulated so far from the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. It has 90 employees and still seems to be aggressive, based on its minimal website (which basically contains only job offers). Elon Musk also noted at the beginning of today’s presentation that the main reason for the event was to recruit new talent.

Source: https://techcrunch.com