Elon Musk, Tesla manufactures electric cars and SpaceX rockets. Less known but equally important and interesting is another company Neuralink.
Neuralink is developing so-called brain-computer interface technology Association digital system and human brain. Three years about the success of the company, there was no information. The other day Elon Musk first told the public about the developments Neuralink.
To implant in the brain
The company showed a prototype device, which in the future will allow you to transfer information between computer and human.
The basis devices are flexible filaments with a thickness of 4 to 6 micrometers, each with dozens of electrodes. These electrodes record the impulses of the brain and transmit them to a receiver in the form of electrical signals.
For implantation of filaments in the brain using a special machine: it can incorporate up to six devices per minute, while avoiding blood vessels – this reduces the chance of inflammation. At the initial stage of the filament will lead to the receiver located behind the ear; later on it is planned to refuse, information will be transmitted immediately to an external device.
Experiments on mice
The technology has already been successfully tested in mice: Neuralink held about two dozen attempts to introduce them implants and 87% of the cases the operation was successful. In one recent experiment thread, inserted in the mouse brain, with a USB cable connected with a computer that allowed to analyze the brain activity of an animal in Neuralink stated that the amount of data received on the order exceeds the information that can identify modern counterparts.
Musk also announced that the device is working NeuraLink has already been tested on monkeys, and the animal could control your computer from your brain.
Now the company submits the paperwork to start human trials, the application should be approved management under the control over products and medicines of the USA. Tests could begin in 2020.
Musk also aims to attract more scientists to the company, which now employs about 100 people.
The main purpose Neuralink in the short term is implant devices paralyzed people so they can have the power of thought to control smartphones or computers.
The reaction of scientists
“The technology described NeuraLink interesting because it is much less invasive than previous developments in this area,” said Krittika D Silva, a NASA expert on artificial intelligence.
“The plans which they describe require years of work to address technical and ethical issues, but this technology could be a big step in the fight against certain serious diseases, such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease” – said the scientist.
The Kording Lab, where scientists work from the Department of neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, saying that “there is nothing revolutionary, but there are a number of really creative ideas” that allow us to say that the company is “in a big way”.
NeuraLink is not the only company that creates neural interfaces. Kernel, created by the businessman from the sphere of high technologies Brian Johnson, trying such things “radically improve and expand human knowledge”.
According to analyst group Juniper Research, by 2030 the supply of devices with brain-computer interface reached 25.6 million, compared to 350 thousand units in 2019. the company predicts that the devices would go far beyond experimental use in medicine, and raise user experience to a whole new level.