Neuralink is an Elon Musk invention which was established in 2016 and now has a revised model. The new Neuralink device is coin-shaped and is meant to sit flush with the skull rather than having a small module resting near the ear.
Musk says, “It’s like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires. The device can be paired with a smartphone app over Bluetooth Low Energy.” In the last year’s event, Musk said that the main purpose of the demonstration was to recruit more people to join the team. Musk wants to create devices by merging human brains with AI. Although the device hasn’t been tested on humans as of now, the US Food and Drug Administration has called it a breakthrough device because this program will allow them to get feedback from the agency throughout the development process, Musk added in the presentation.
The company’s main contribution to technology is Neuralink’s thin, flexible wires, which are covered in electrodes to pick up brain activity. These threads have more electrodes compared to other systems which means more information and may not cause as much damage as stiff needles.
However, the foreign objects in our brain degrade over time and the smaller objects break-even faster. A member of the Neuralink team at the demonstration said that the main challenge was making sure that the device could last for decades in a corrosive environment like the brain.
Musk said that this device could solve several neurological problems from memory loss to strokes to addiction or monitor a user’s health and prepare them if they’re having a heart attack. Neuralink can be implanted without general anaesthesia within an hour.
There are many mind-blowing advantages of Neuralink like Visual Prosthesis. One of the Neuralink engineers told that this project has the potential to provide a visual prosthesis for people who have retinal injury or blindness. A camera can be directly plugged into the visual cortex and simulate an array of thousands of electrodes to recreate a visual image. Musk added, “One can see the world in various wavelengths like ultraviolet or infrared and radar. All one has to do is basically name their frequency and dynamically adjust the sensor, to have a superhuman vision.”
It can also be used for telepathy. It takes an incredible amount of effort to put thoughts into a set of words. They are a compressed format of our immense thinking capabilities. With Neuralink one might be able to send thoughts and communicate them better. Musk called this communication a ‘non-linguistic consent consensual conceptual telepathy’.
One of the lead researchers believes that there is a lot of hidden creativity in each one of us. “With enough electrodes in the right places you could begin to sort of tap into those raw concepts or thought vectors and be able to decode that and show people primitive versions of music or even 3D engineering model,” he explained.
With Neuralink you can get nostalgic whenever you want. These memories generally fade and get replaced or edited through narratives. As time passes, the original versions of these memories are no longer available. Neuralink allows one to revisit these memories and alter the mood on demand. It will also allow an individual to eliminate pain.
One of the researchers expressed his wish to understand the nature of consciousness and said, “There’s a lot of very silly philosophy that’s been written about over the last thousand years but I think that we’ve been very limited by the tools and our ability to interrogate. And as we measure the brain these tools get better. It will pull it into the realm of physics and it’s really one of the last big great mysteries in science.”
The two best thinks that Neuralink possess are that it’ll be able to predict disease and has the potential to go deeper at chances of solving issues related to anxiety, fear and depression become high.
However, one cannot predict what Elon Musk is capable of doing. One of the team members said, “The side effect of this device is, you’ll end up learning a ton about how the brain works.” So actually, there isn’t any upper limit to what this coin-shaped implant can do.
Image Credits- The Verge