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Elon Musk and his Neura-link




What’s up guys! Today we’re gonna have a look at Elon Musk’s brainchild Neuralink.

You must have heard about it on the internet as it has constantly been in talks ever

since it was first spoken of back in July of 2016. Elon Musk who is the founder of

SpaceX and CEO of Tesla and happens to be the richest man on the planet came up

with this invention along with a team of seven scientists and engineers based in San

Francisco under the name of Neuralink Corporation, a private company that develops

implantable brain-computer interfaces.


The development of brain-machine interfaces holds promise for treating a variety of

clinical conditions. For instance, employing no more than 256 electrodes, researchers

have shown human neuroprosthetic control of computer cursors, robotic limbs and

speech synthesizers.


With as many as 3072 electrodes per array dispersed among 96 threads, Neuralink has

constructed arrays of small, flexible electrode "threads." Additionally, it created a

neurosurgery robot that can inject six threads (192 electrodes) every minute. With

micron-level accuracy, each thread may be individually introduced into the brain to

target a particular area of the brain while avoiding the surface vasculature all while

occupying a size of less than 23×18.5×2 mm3.


The development of a flexible, scalable brain-machine interface by Neuralink, which

more than doubles the number of channels compared to earlier studies. Ultra-fine

polymer probes, a neurosurgical robot, and special high-density electronics make up the

three primary parts of their system. It works on the principle of Vagus nerve stimulation

i.e. implanted device sends electrical impulses into the vagus nerve and into the

brainstem. In this article we’re going to be focusing on its applications in human lives.


Applications:


  • Brain-computer interfaces could serve as the foundation for innovative communication systems and cutting-edge assistive technologies for people with paralysis. They could also be used to control external devices and interact with the environment, for example by integrating into newly developed technologies like the Internet of Things and the Smart Home. They have a great deal of potential for discovering in the user's brain hidden information that cannot be communicated through traditional communication routes.

● Without any intention of controlling command generation, the passive brain-

computer interface analyzes the user's present brain activity and offers details

about aspects of that activity relating to attention, mood, weariness, etc.



● Epileptic seizures can be stopped

or even avoided with the use of

brain-machine interfaces. Open-

loop or closed-loop stimulation

delivery to the brain are both

possible. Since the stimulation is

initiated manually or in accordance

with a predetermined procedure in

the first scenario, there is no need

to continuously monitor the brain

activity.


● Brain-computer interfaces allow a disabled person to control wheelchairs,

exoskeletons, and robotic manipulators by generating commands via voluntary

changes of brain activity. Studies on animals have shown the effectiveness of

invasive registration of cortical neuron activity to create an effective brain-

machine interface.


● The replacement of dead neurons with artificial ones or the restoration of neural

connections that degenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease have destroyed

could be additional clinical uses for brain-machine interface technology.


● Neuralink emphasizes on the significance of neuronal activity modulation in the

upcoming generation of brain-machine interfaces. For applications like

neuroprosthetics and novel therapy strategies for individuals with drug-resistant

epileptic disorders, this option is crucial.


Every human accomplishment has two sides: on the one hand, it aims to enhance life; on the other hand, it

may be abused by unscrupulous individuals for their own selfish interests. The prospect that a government or nongovernmental entity may be able to control and manipulate the person's behavior is one of the unintended consequences of brain-machine interfaces with electrodes implanted into the human brain.


In a recently streamed live event, Neuralink has issued a statement saying it has

applied for FDA approval to allow them to commence human trials, we could be less

than a year away from having human brains implanted with microchips. Once the

devices are prepared and cleared for human usage, Elon Musk has even said that he

intends to get one implanted himself. If we talk about how long it would take to implant

the chip onto your skull, in the event Musk also said “You can go to hospital in the

morning and leave by afternoon. And it can be done without general anesthesia.”


 

Hopefully you guys had something added to your knowledge reading this, although I

tried to cover most of the applications there are many more that we’ll come to terms with over due course of time after this device has come into use.

Q. Do you think we can save and replay memories with the help of neuralink?

Let us know in the comments ⬇️⬇️


Further reading:

1. DOI: 10.2196/16194

2. DOI: 10.2196/16356

3. DOI: 10.7759/cureus.14192

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