Finally, after a year we have an official update from CEO Elon Musk on the brain-machine interface (BMI) neurotech firm – Neuralink. A speculation that’s circulating about Neuralink is that Musk will demonstrate how neurons operate in real-time or as he said “Firing in real-time“, though it’s not clear exactly what is meant by this.
He didn’t share detail about what exactly Neuralink has been working on this past year, nor what Musk will demonstrate on the live webcast at 6 PM ET on Friday, 28 August.
Musk believes that brain-machine interface devices are required to assist humans to keep up with artificial intelligence (AI) by supplementing our brainpower. Right now, his goal is much simpler: to build an implantable device that allows people to control their computers or smartphones with their minds.
How Neuralink Works?
Like Elon Musk’s other ventures, Neuralink is an ambitious project too. Neuralink is trying to connect to the brain using threads (flexible electrodes thinner than a human hair). At the moment, BMI devices are using stiff electrodes for this task, which can cause damage. However, inserting flexible electrodes is a much more complex task, hence the firm is trying to build a “sewing machine” like robot to do the job.
The firm’s hardware will consist of a small chip inserted into the brain where electrodes are connected all over the brain in order to read neuron signals. This massive neuron data will assist Neuralink’s software to understand how the brain communicates with the whole body in order to redirect functions to send signals through AI.
Once this ambitious goal is achieved the possibilities may be endless. Neuralink will be mostly used in medical areas, especially for those with neurological disorders or issues related to the brain such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, strokes, Parkinson or other issues such as eyesight and hearing problems.
Neuralink stated last year that it would start clinical trials by the end of 2020, but has not provided any further updates on this goal.
Neuralink will officially announce how you’ll be able to watch Friday’s live webcast, but keeping an eye on the firm’s YouTube channel seems like a safe bet. If you want to know more about Neuralink, watch the video of Elon Musk speaking at Neuralink launch event last year.