On Friday night Elon Musk made good on his promise to show a working Neuralink device. The company announced that it successfully installed its Link hardware in the brains of pigs, and in one case, removed the device without causing any obvious problems. The test subjects were present at the event, even if they weren’t always cooperative and.. Gertrude’s Link seemed to successfully read signals generated by her neurons whenever she smelled a tasty treat.
“We have a healthy and happy pig, initially shy but obviously high energy and, you know, kind of loving life, and she had the implant two months ago” Musk said of Gertrude, the pig.
The billionaire entrepreneur, whose other companies include Tesla and SpaceX, presented during a live-stream event to recruit employees for his neuroscience startup Neuralink. He described Gertrude’s coin-sized implant as “a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires”.
The device is removable, Musk said, and he showed off another pig, Dorothy, whom he claimed had had one of the devices implanted and subsequently removed. “What Dorothy illustrates is that you can put in the Neuralink, remove it, and be healthy, happy and indistinguishable from a normal pig.”
Use Of Device..
While most of the near-term practical applications of wireless brain-machine interfaces are medical, Musk has also expressed a desire that such devices could help human intelligence compete with artificial intelligence, which he considers an “existential threat”. At Friday’s event, the entrepreneur made a number of outsize claims about the potential capabilities of the technology, including that you can use it to summon a Tesla, play video games, or allow a person with a severed spinal cord to walk again.
Neuroscience experts say that while Neuralink’s mission to read and stimulate brain activity in humans is feasible, the company’s timeline appears overly ambitious. “Everyone in the field would be very impressed.. Iif they actually showed data from a device implanted in a human,” said Graeme Moffat, a University of Toronto neuroscience research fellow. Small devices that electronically stimulate nerves and brain areas to treat hearing loss and Parkinson’s disease have been implanted in humans for decades.
Unlike the first prototype, which involved a sensor that would be worn behind the ear, The Link “goes flush with your skull – it’s invisible, and all you can see afterwards is this tiny scar”, Mr Musk said. The new sensor has similar attributes to a smartwatch in that it can measure temperature, pressure, and functions that “related to monitoring your health and warning you about a possible heart attack or stroke”, he added.
Asked about the cost of the device, Mr Musk said it would be expensive at first but he projected that, “inclusive of the automated surgery, I think we want to get the price down to a few thousand dollars, something like that”.
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