Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Elon Musk's Neuralink aims to connect brains to computers by 2020

Elon Musk has finally unveiled the plans of his mysterious Neuralink, that hopes to connect brains to computers as soon as next year (2020).

The idea of ​​creating a direct interface with the brain is not new. The problem is that existing systems are either unreliable (using external sensors) or too intrusive (requiring complicated and risky surgical interventions, and materials that require extra care in day-to-day or long term use). Problems that Neuralink believes to have overcome.

With its N1 chip, Neuralink proposes a tiny chip that can be connected to the brain using ultra-thin cables that are only 4 to 6 μm - much thinner than a hair - and will allow the creation of a high-bandwidth  channel for communication with the brain. The idea is that the process of connecting it to the brain is done by a robotic machine, without the need for complicated surgeries, using lasers to make tiny holes for inserting the cables instead of drilling. The chips would be powered by an external battery mounted on a earpiece behind the ear.

The tests have been done on mice, but in the end of the presentation Elon Musk revealed that the system has already been tested with a monkey, allowing it to control a computer by thought alone. The first application in a human could happen next year; and although it will probably start with paralyzed people or people with motor disabilities... it could eventually become common enough to attract anyone wishing to have a faster and broader way to connect to the digital world .

... On the other hand, on the long run, should we have to start to worry about electronic viruses manipulating or thoughts and actions? What about ransomware infecting our brains and garbling our memories or turning us into vegetables unless we pay a ransom? Things will certainly be very interesting in the coming decades.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Amazon Store