This week Elon Musk unveiled his most sci-fi project so far from his start-up Neuralink. This is basically a computer chip connected to exceptionally slender wires with electrodes on them; all of which is meant to be embedded in a person’s brain by a surgical robot.
Should you be worried? Maybe.
What is this chip spoken by Neuralink?
Neuralink, the Elon Musk-led startup that the multi-entrepreneur founded in 2017, is working on technology that’s based around “threads,” which it says can be implanted in human brains with much less potential impact to the surrounding brain tissue versus what’s currently used for today’s brain-computer interfaces. “Most people don’t realize, we can solve that with a chip,” Musk said to kick off Neuralink’s event; talking about some of the brain disorders and issues the company hopes to solve.
Musk also said that, long-term, Neuralink really is about figuring out a way to “achieve a sort of symbiosis with artificial intelligence.” He went on to say, “This is not a mandatory thing. This is something you can choose to have if you want.”
This implant would connect wirelessly to a small behind-the-ear receiver that could communicate with a computer.
For now, however, the aim is medical, and the plan is to use a robot that Neuralink has created; that operates somewhat like a “sewing machine” to implant this threads; which are incredibly thin (like, between 4 and 6 μm which means about one-third the diameter of the thinnest human hair) deep within a person’s brain tissue; where it will be capable of performing both read and write operations at very high data volume.
More Insight –
How Neuralink & its brain chip could help?
Even Musk knows that he has to take it a little slow. He insists that people have nothing to fear. “It’s not going to be suddenly Neuralink will have this neural lace and start taking over people’s brains,” Musk said. Rather, he hopes Neuralink will help humans “to achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence.”
But all of that is still a long way off. Neuralink is still working on testing its BMI on rats and will need FDA approval to try it on humans. The company isn’t ready for that yet; and Musk made it a point to say he hoped his presentation would help to attract talent to advance the experiment.