What is it, how does it work and more
Elon Musk has been keeping himself busy on Twitter for the past few weeks, but there’s no denying that he’s spread his wings outside of social media. We all know about Tesla and SpaceX but not many of us are aware of a startup called Neuralink that promises to do things that have only been seen in sci-fi movies so far. This Musk company has only one goal, which is to put microchips into human brains to achieve things that can only be imagined at the moment.
The company came out this week and claimed that it would be willing to make good on its promise to put microchips in humans in the next six months. So, what is Neuralink, what technology does it work with and how does the company plan to make it happen?
Neuralink – when did it all begin?
Neuralink was founded in 2016 and most people had no idea about this company before Musk brought it into the limelight. Musk has repeatedly talked about his fears that artificial intelligence will become smarter than humans, so he plans with this company to use artificial intelligence on humans, so that we can never be overcome. His claims have been derided, particularly by experts who believe Musk’s dream of integrating artificial intelligence with the human brain is fanciful and one of many fantasies of the Tesla founder.
How it works
If you’ve watched science fiction or cartoon movies, there are stories where microchips are implanted in people. Neuralink plans to make that a reality, and its use case promises to break new ground for the medical fraternity, at least that’s what the company claims.
The company will use human subjects to place the chip in their skulls and the second part of the unit will have electrodes attached to their brains. The chip developed is about the size of a coin, and the tiny wires are claimed to be 20 times thinner than a human hair, so it’s not like you’ll feel them dangling inside the skull. Musk says implanting the chip would be as easy as performing LASIK eye surgery.
Is he working?
Neuralink has previously tested pigs and even monkeys, according to the company, with encouraging results. The company implanted the chip in the pig in 2020 and showcased its potential by showing how the technology helped them accurately predict the location of Gertrude, the pig’s limbs. The chip was embedded in the pig’s skull for two months, and the results were shown to the public for a better read on the technology.
Human subjects – the true test of Neuralink
But there is no denying that implanting chips on pigs is one thing, and using them on humans would be an entirely different scenario. Musk mentioned that the microchip inside the human brain could help treat major brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and even study patients’ neural patterns to give them treatment or medical attention in advance. You can even blend human consciousness with artificial intelligence but we don’t fall for such claims until we see it happening before our eyes.
It appears that Musk has delayed the trials for more than three years now. He first claimed that the trial would take place in 2020, then in 2021 and then this year. Now, it will be 2023, and he hopes that the necessary approvals from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow the company to conduct clinical trials in humans to show everyone that the microchip in the brain is not just a fantasy, but is ongoing. To be a big part of the future.
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