Tech Billionaire Elon Musk took center stage with his latest pathbreaking initiative when he unveiled the ambitious neurotech from his neuroscience startup Neuralink which can presumably cure several neural diseases through a brain implant that is capable of decoding the neural wave.
Neuralink, Co-founded by Tesla Inc and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in 2016 aims eventually to merge the humankind with artificial intelligence (AI) and also aid to cure the neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia and spinal cord injuries with the implementation of a wireless brain-computer that comprise of thousands of electrodes in the most complex human organ.
On the Webcast that happened last week, the billionaire said that such implantable devices can clear problems like memory loss, hearing loss, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Describing the presentation as a “ three little pig demo” Elon Musk introduced Gertrude, one of three pigs he said that the company had which has had a coin-sized computer chip inside its brain for two months. The Tesla owner revealed that the three pigs have two implants in each in their brains.
Gertrude had a Nerulink implanted in that part of its brain which controls the muzzle (a portion of the face, including the nose and mouth). When the pig began to eat off of a stool and sniffed straw, spikes were triggered on a graph that tracked the animal’s neural activity.
The Tesla owner also introduced another pig that previously had the implant and cleared that the pigs with such implantation are healthy and happy and also indistinguishable from other pigs.
“ I could have a Neuralink right now and you wouldn’t know,…Maybe I do,” Musk said, describing that the Neuralink chip is roughly 0.9 inch in diameter like a Fitbit in your skull with some tiny wires.
Dr. Matthew MacDougall, head surgeon of Neuralink said that the first clinical trials of the implant will be in a small number of human patients aiming to cure paralysis or paraplegia. While Stanford University neuroscientist Sergy Stavisky said that the company had made vital progress since its initial demo in July 2019.
Whereas some researchers commented that in-depth studies are needed to determine the chip’s longevity.
Mr. Musk stated that beyond medical usage the implant’s other achievement is “some kind of AI symbiosis where you have an AI extension of yourself.
Neuralink which currently employs about 100 people on the project has received $158 million in funding out of which $100 million is from Musk himself.