Neuralink takes the first steps to connect the brain and computer
Back in 2017, Elon Musk created Neuralink and invested $ 100 million in it. This organization is developing a chip that can be implanted in the human brain. The device should open up the ability to control a smartphone or computer using the power of thought. The main requirements for implantation are the safety and painlessness of the procedure by analogy with vision correction with a laser.
In 2019, the company, after a long classified development, presented a plan according to which it is planned to implant chips in people with paralysis. The latter should help people with disabilities use a computer.
Representatives of Neuralink told and demonstrated the ability to register the activity of the rat brain. To do this, the animal was surgically implanted with thousands of microchips near synapses and neurons. In this way, Neuralink made it possible to place ultra-fast computers inside the brain. It is important that this causes significantly minimal damage to the body in comparison with the methods of intervention used today.
Max Hodak, co-founder of the organization, said that clinical trials directly on humans will be carried out as early as 2020. Permission to do this will be requested from the US Food and Drug Administration. Scientists set themselves the task of placing implants through a hole with a diameter of 8 mm drilled in the skull of a paralyzed person, which opens up the ability to control gadgets with the power of thought.
The chip itself will be very compact, equipped with 3,100 electrodes that run over 100 wires, otherwise called filaments. Each strand will be connected to the brain by a custom-made robot. The technology will target specific areas of the brain, and it will be easy for surgeons with it to avoid touching large blood vessels during implantation. This reduces the risk of inflammation or dangerous brain damage.
Neuralink has raised over $ 150 million additionally from other investors. Early experiments are planned in collaboration with neurosurgeons at Stanford University. It is expected that the technology will be in great demand in the future, because, in fact, it provides a symbiosis between humans and AI.