Have you heard about Elon Musk? The living iron man. He is the man whose mind works beyond imagination. He is a self-taught rocket scientist, a self-taught programmer, and an engineer too. What he imagines, he had made it possible. He wants a safe digital payment system, he developed PayPal. He wants fuel-free vehicles, he developed Tesla cars that are powered by electrical energy. He wants the rocket to be reusable, he founded Space-x and made it possible. Not only this he wants of colonizing mars too. Space-x is working on this project since 2017 and as per their plans, they are launching their starship with a crew by 2024.
Now let’s talk about Neuralink.
Neuralink Corporation is the American based company also founded by Elon Musk that works on neurotechnology. This company started a project in 2016 named “Neuralink” whose main motive is implanting computer chips into the human brain. Wait, what? Isn’t it crazy? They are developing implantable BMIs (Brain-Machine Interfaces) which can make communication possible between the human brain and computer. Recently they had developed the Neuralink Chip which can be implanted into the human brain in the near future. Musk stated that implantable devices can solve various serious problems such as memory loss, hearing loss, depression, insomnia, and paralysis too.
When someone has a paralysis problem, this happens when the brain stops sending neural signals to the respective body part. Neuralink’s chips can solve this huge problem. When the chip is implanted into the brain, then the neural signals are sent to the respective body part through the chip so the body part starts to work again. Similarly, he also stated that we can save our brain information and retrieve it whenever required. This is truly beyond science. Musk explained that the long-term goal is to achieve “symbiosis with artificial intelligence”. The future is going to be wired and crazy. This experiment is being done in various animals and by the end of 2020, they will start human trials too.
Various trials are being carried out through different phases. Recently they did this experiment on pigs. They developed the coin-sized chip that is implanted to pigs’ brain and the signals developed in the brain is recorded. That chip is implanted in the brain using very advanced precise robots and can be done within one hour. For the experiment, they took 3 pigs. Musk illustrated what he mentioned as the “three little pigs demo.” Gertrude, the pig with a Neuralink implant in its snout-controlled part of the brain.
From this experiment, it is noticed that when it started eating off a stool and sniffing straw, it causes spikes on a graph recording the neural activity of the animal. While eating a kind of signal is recorded, while walking another kind of signal is recorded. Likewise, for different activity different neural signals are recorded by the chip. Not only recording the neural signals they also predicted the further signal to be developed by the brain. The corporation had three pigs with two implants each, and also mentioned a pig that had an implant before. They were safe, happy and indistinguishable from a regular pig.
Voice of researchers
Graeme Moffat, a neuroscience research scientist at the University of Toronto, said that Neuralink ‘s developments were “order of magnitude leaps” beyond current science thanks to the scale, portability and wireless capabilities of the novel chip.
A neuroscientist at Stanford University Sergey Stavisky said the company has made significant and remarkable progress since an earlier chip was first demonstrated in July 2019. “Going from that to the fully implanted system in several pigs they showed is impressive and, I think, really highlights the strengths of having a large multidisciplinary team focused on this problem,” Stavisky said.