Man and computer, humans and latest technology together going to make miracles now. Elon Musk started a project called Neuralink that could change people’s lives. He wants to implant a microchip in the human brain. Human trials of this project have been approved by the US government (FDA).
Wherever Elon Musk puts his hand, there is gold. Be it social media platforms or the world’s most popular electric car Tesla or chatGPT. Mask’s hard work makes every project a success.
Now he has planned such a project named Neuralink, which may sound like a story of a Hollywood sci-fi movie. However, if it succeeds, it is expected to change the lives of billions of people.
What is Neuralink?
What is Neuralink and what does they do?
Have you seen AI based movie named “Transcendence (2014)” or “Upgrade (2018)“, where AI chips are inserted into the human body to improve their performance. The Neuralink chip is exactly like that.
Neuralink is a company founded by Elon Musk in 2016. The company is doing research on neurotechnology. Their aim is to create devices that can be placed inside the brain to connect it with computers and other things outside the body.
These devices are called brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). The idea is to allow the brain to communicate directly with computers or other devices.
Applications of Neuralink
Neuralink’s technology can do wonders for people’s minds and bodies. It can do amazing things like: using Neuralink a paralyzed people can control computers or limbs just by their thinking. It can treat brain problems like Parkinson’s by stimulating the brain.
This device can enhance memory by establishing a direct connection between the brain and digital storage. This looks so interesting. Isn’t it?
Neuralink human trials
Neuralink has made a lot of progress in its research and development work. In August 2020, the company did a live demonstration where they showed a working model of their technology in pigs.
By implanting the electrodes, Neuralink was able to record the neural signals from the pigs’ brains in real-time.
On 26th of May 2023, Musk’s brain-chip firm Neuralink said the US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has given them approval to conduct the first human trials of the chip.
How does Neuralink work?
Neuralink involves putting a small chip called N1 into the human brain. To implant the chip, only a small 8mm part of our head needs to be cut.
Neuralink or N1 is a square chip for creating a special connection between the brain and external devices. They use tiny and flexible threads which can be inserted into the brain.
These threads can detect the electrical signals produced by the brain’s neurons. The threads are as small as 1/10th part of a human hair.
After the signals are detected, they are sent to a small device called the “Link” that is placed behind the ear. The Link acts like a hub and communicates wirelessly with other devices like computers or smartphones.
The signals are then processed by software, which can understand the brain’s intentions or commands. For example, it can help someone control a computer or move a robotic limb just by thinking.
Note: Doctors cannot implant the chip directly, so a special surgical robot is used. This robot can complete the procedure in just one hour. The best part is that the entire process is reversible. The chip can be removed if needed, or it can even be replaced with a new one.
In its early versions, Neuralink will be a complex medical device used to treat severe medical conditions. It will probably be covered by medical insurance, but it will be quite expensive. The treatment will require serious brain surgery.
As it advances and becomes a voluntary procedure, Neuralink aims for it to be similar to LASIK eye surgery, where individuals pay for it directly. The cost might be high, tens of thousands of dollars.
Neuralink Patient Registry
Patient registry is not yet open. But If you want to find out whether you are eligible for future clinical trials conducted by Neuralink, you can join their Patient Registry. By joining, you can express your interest and be considered for participation in upcoming studies conducted by Neuralink.
Musk has previously said that his proposed technology can ease people’s concerns about the dangers of artificial intelligence or AI. He said, they will provide more details soon on how the human trial will be conducted.
Recently, the Swiss researchers group achieved great success in experiments related to brain transplantation. Soon after, the FDA approved this experiment of implanting microchips in human heads.
However, Experts warn that Neuralink’s brain implants need extensive testing to overcome technical and ethical challenges before they can be released to the market.
Hi there, I’m Anindya Naskar, Data Science Engineer. I created this website to show you what I believe is the best possible way to get your start in the field of Data Science.