Neuralink: Will Elon Musk’s brain technology revolutionize humankind?

Big promises are nothing new for Elon Musk. He has previously stated that he wants to colonize Mars and construct transportation infrastructure beneath the world’s largest cities. The wealthiest man in the world announced that his Neuralink company has successfully implanted a wireless brain chip into a human being.

Does he have a point when he suggests this technology could save humanity?

Electrodes inserted into brain tissue are not an original idea.

Electrical stimulation provoked or stifled aggressive behavior in cats throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Monkeys were taught to use their thoughts to move a cursor across a computer screen by the early 2000s.

Neuralink is only one of several businesses and academic institutions working to develop and eventually market this technology. Treating complex neurological diseases and paralysis is the main emphasis, at least initially.

Approximately 86 billion neurons, or nerve cells joined by synapses, are found in the human brain. A little electrical impulse is produced and delivered extremely fast from one neuron to another whenever we wish to move, feel, or think.

Researchers have created tools that can identify some of those signals. These tools can be inserted into the brain by cables or a non-invasive head cap.

Current research funding is focused on brain-computer interface (BCI) technology, with millions of dollars going into this field of study.

The coin-sized Neuralink gadget is implanted in the skull. It contains tiny wires that sense neuron activity and transmits a wireless signal to a receiving device. The company ran test on pigs and also mentioned that monkeys can play a simple version of the video game Pong.

In May 2023, the US Food and Drug Administration approved it for human studies.

Although it is now known that the first patient has gotten their implant, few specifics are still available. Musk stated that the patient is “recovering well” and that “promising neuron spike detection” is shown in the preliminary tests.

Although all of this may sound highly science fiction, Neuralink is catching up.

Ten patients have already received the stent-like device from Synchron, one of its primary competitors, funded by Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates’ investment firms.

The first tweet was created in December 2021 by Australian Philip O’Keefe, 62, who has a motor neuron illness. He used just his thoughts to move a cursor.

Additionally, a paralyzed man may be able to walk again thanks to research at Lausanne University in Switzerland. Where various devices were implanted to avoid harm from a bike accident.

They showed in a study early this year that a signal could be sent from a brain gadget to another one implanted at the base of his spine, which would cause his limbs to move.

Some spinal injury survivors are dubious about the increased interest in this novel form of technology.


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“Solving” brain and spinal damage is only the beginning for Neuralink, according to Elon Musk.

He characterizes “human/AI symbiosis” as the ultimate objective, calling it “species-level important.”

The true challenge will be creating a system with significantly higher precision in interpreting or translating brain signals. When and if that occurs, people could interact with computers and other electronic gadgets in ways that are hard to understand now.

Consider having the ability to instantly translate one language to another, order takeout, or search the internet with just your thoughts.

Musk has previously discussed the possibility that his invention may enable communication “faster than a speed typist or auctioneer” between humans and phones or computers.

He has even suggested that memories may be saved and played back in the past. Still, he acknowledged that “this is sounding increasingly like a Black Mirror episode.”

Nearly all experts concur that a High Street brain surgeon in your area is, at most, decades away from using this state-of-the-art equipment.

Elon Musk has also stated that better-safeguarding humanity from the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI). Which he has previously referred to as an “existential threat,” should be the ultimate objective rather than expediting your takeout order.

He contends that we as a species are less likely to be “left behind” if human and computer minds are better combined.

“With a high bandwidth, brain-machine interface, we can go along for the ride.”

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