Elon Musk said startup Neuralink, which aims to build a scalable implant to connect human brains with computers, has already implanted chips in rats and plans to test its brain-machine interface in humans within two years, with a long-term goal of people "merging with AI." Brain-machine interfaces have been around for awhile. Some of the earliest success with the technology include Brown University's BrainGate, which first enabled a paralyzed person to control a computer cursor in 2006. Since then a variety of research groups and companies, including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and DARPA-backed Synchron, have been working on similar devices. There are two basic approaches: You can do it invasively, creating an interface with an implant that directly touches the brain, or you can do it non-invasively, usually by electrodes placed near the skin. Neuralink, says Musk, is going to go the invasive route.
We all know Elon Musk to be a very ambitious guy. I mean, seriously, the guy has a company which specializes in electric car manufacturing, you've heard of Tesla, right? He also runs an aerospace manufacturing and space transportation services company called SpaceX. I am sure you've heard about it in the news or somewhere else. SolarCity, a solar energy company, now owned by Tesla.
Neuralink plans to test its brain machine interface technology with four of its N1 chips installed under patients' skin. Neuralink, Elon Musk's startup that's trying to directly link brains and computers, has developed a system to feed thousands of electrical probes into a brain and hopes to start testing the technology on humans in in 2020, Chief Executive Elon Musk revealed Tuesday. "A monkey has been able to control a computer with his brain," Musk said at a San Francisco livestreaming the presentation on YouTube Tuesday, revealing even more research results than the company's scientists expected. Neuralink's initial goal is to help people deal with brain and spinal cord injuries or congenital defects, Musk said. The technology could help paraplegics who have lost the ability to move or sense because of spinal cord injury -- a medical treatment that's a lot less shocking than radical sci-fi ideas like "consensual telepathy."
An illustration of "wizard hats," or the term writer Tim Urban uses to describe the type of brain implants Elon Musk eventually wants to develop. An illustration of "wizard hats," or the term writer Tim Urban uses to describe the type of brain implants Elon Musk eventually wants to develop. Elon Musk teased the world last month by confirming his new venture, Neuralink, a company to create implantable brain chips. Now a lot more details have been revealed. A long post on the website Wait But Why, written by Tim Urban, lays out the background of the company, its team and its plans to develop what are known as brain-machine interfaces.
Tesla founder Elon Musk has launched tech startup Neuralink to build implants that connect human brains with computer interfaces via artificial intelligence. The approaching technology would see groups of minuscule, flexible electrode "threads" implanted into the human brain by a neurosurgical robot. These threads detect and record the electrical signals in the brain, and transmit this information outside the body. This has the potential to create a scalable high-bandwidth brain-machine interface (BMI) system, meaning that it connects the brain to an external device to form a brain-machine interface. The goal is to use Neuralink to understand and treat different forms of brain or spine-related disorders.