Neuralink, a company that has been developing brain interfaces to communicate with machines, and is backed by Elon Musk, announced that they would begin human trials in 2020. The idea is to implant devices in paralysed humans, which will help them to gain control over devices like a computer or a mobile.
The company has a total investment of $158 million, which includes $100 million from Musk. Although Neuralink began trials of their upcoming tech two years back, they made this information public during a presentation at California Academy of Sciences.
According to the company, the tech can be used to “Understand and treat brain disorders, preserve and enhance your brain, and create a well-aligned future “.
The tech relies on threads, which are implanted in the human brain and are relatively less damaging than the materials currently being used. Another advantage of threads is that they can transfer a high volume of data and are thinner than the hair.
The company has also developed a miniature robot to insert the threads. The robot can insert six threads per minute, as first reported by The Verge.
Neuralink’s tech intentions are something to look forward to, but the tech isn’t yet full proof as it doesn’t hold the promise to not cause any injury to the user. However, it is an improvement over the current brain-machine interfaces.
“The main reason for doing this presentation is recruiting. So, we really want to have the best talent in the world to come work at Neuralink,” Elon Musk said during the presentation.
Musk also emphasised that they’re trying to build “a brain-machine interface that can solve brain ailments of all kind with a chip”. He also added that spinal ailments could be looked after too.
“It’s important for us to address brain-related diseases,” he added and also accepted that the tech isn’t going to get perfected overnight and it’ll take a long time to achieve what they’re trying to with Neuralink.
Max Hodak, President of Neuralink, “I remember a couple of years ago when we started talking about the idea of Neuralink and my first reaction was that I wasn’t even sure whether this was a good idea.” But Elon convinced him that this was a possibility.
Learn more about Neuralink and how it functions here.
Former Senior Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant has a keen interest in social issues and international relations.