Elon Musk demonstrates Neuralink’s tech success live with pigs surgically implanted brain-monitoring devices

Elon Musk, (born June 28, 1971, Pretoria, South Africa), a modern era genius, South African-born American entrepreneur who cofounded the electronic-payment firm PayPal and formed SpaceX, maker of launch vehicles and spacecraft and the futuristic electric car manufacturer Tesla.

It’s general to be shocked as what he has achieved and made the whole world surprise with his out of the box ideas, which sometimes looks too futuristic that even it makes you feel that you are too behind to be along with the world.

This time, again his team of Neuralink demonstrated something truly futuristic, which will definitely make everyone enthusiastic about the future of the world.

Have you ever heard of the term Brain-Computer Interface(BCI)?

brain-computer interface (BCI), sometimes called a neural-control interface (NCI), mind-machine interface (MMI), direct neural interface (DNI), or brain-machine interface (BMI), is a direct communication pathway between an enhanced or wired brain and an external device. BCI differs from neuromodulation in that it allows for bidirectional information flow. BCIs are often directed at researching, mapping, assisting, augmenting, or repairing human cognitive or sensory-motor functions

On Friday, Neuralink provided a demo of the expertise and was done by Elion Musk himself, who founded Neuralink and has made headlines over the past few years round it efforts to develop a brand new form of interface between the human mind and computing units. He quoted that :

“We’re not trying to raise money or do anything else, but the main purpose is to convince great people to come work at Neuralink and help us bring the product to fruition — make it affordable and reliable and such that anyone who wants one can have one”.


Credit – Neuralink

Musk first noted that Neuralink had changed design since the reveal last year, with a smaller physical device profile that he said can be fully hidden under hair once installed in the skull. He had a physical device in-hand to show its size.

The goal is highly ambitious and is subject to a lot of ethical and medical debate, which is no doubt is definitely going to happen but the technology Elon Musk actually demonstrated was just in its minimal form.

What is the actual goal behind this scenario?

Elon Musk stated that what he looks forward is to make sure that problems like memory loss, anxiety, brain damage, depression and all important brain and spine problems which is sight to be a general problem and can be rectified using a seamlessly implanted devices.


Credit - Neuralink

How it will work?

Now, everything inside your brain is like a million of signals stroking across the brain cells and conveying messages in the verge of communicating to each other.So, these signals are actually responsible for every message for problems which persists inside our body.

Hence,this small chip ,which is also known as “Link” will be always there to monitor your ,within the body ailments and the further data collected can be used to rectify the ailments.

So, it is like a Fitbit installed into your body, which will track your body condition depending upon the signals generated by your brain, as entire body is actually controlled by your brain and signals generated by the brain cells can depicts the exact picture of the body problem.  

Now to prove his words, he demonstrated a demo with the help of three pigs but the one with the working ‘Link’, was the ‘Getrude’. Now, the device is fitted into his snout, so every-time he touches anything with his snout ,electronic signals are recorded.

Credit - Neuralink

So, the above pig is ‘Getrude’, which has a ‘Link’ fitted into his snout and this ‘Link’ will continuously monitor Getrude’s movement, specifically anything that he touches with his snout.

Journey till now…

The current technology which is under research, named as “Utah Array“, which is significantly bigger in size and has a lot of limitations.

Credit - Neuralink

As it much bigger in size,hence will require more care and you need a medical expert to use it flawlessly.

But, what about the current available technology for it ?

Deep Brain Simulation is the current available technology which is possible to be used and has successfully helped more than  150,000 patients.But it has a huge set of limitations, which Musk hints out.

Credit - Neuralink

But, what Musk wants more from it?

If you look out the design from the last summer of Neuralink project, then you can conclude that this time they had came up with a much smaller and easy to be used model.
Credit - Neuralink

Have a look of the structure, in the previous model, it looks pretty bulky and a kind of load for the user.But, now the size is not just smaller but also can be kept hidden without compromising your hairstyle.

Now, look at the size of the Link.

Credit - Neuralink

Features of Link V0.9

Now this Link comes with certain features which are:

Credit - Neuralink

All Day battery life,how does it get charged?

Well,this question has an advanced answer.It has a wireless charging system which helps it to charge inductively. 
Credit - Neuralink

But how it will be fitted into your skull?

For that you have to undergo a minor surgery which might take less than an hour and also can be performed without using anesthesia.In the process,a small section of your skull will be removed and this device will be inserted such it cannot be even noticed.
Credit - Neuralink
Credit - Neuralink

How it can be done so precisely?

Now, to get a Neuralink,you have to cut a section out of your skull, which has to be done precisely,without damaging the delicate Grey matter or brain.So, to perform that operation we need a robotic hand for it because we can not rely on humans as we cannot afford human error at this level.Thus, Musk unveiled a robot also meant for performing the task.
Credit - Neuralink

How the device will receive the neural signals?

Now,Musk continued to say about the signal generated by the brain and received by the device,he mentioned that the electrodes of the device, to be inserted in such a way that it must not harm the patient,which is actually internal bleeding, as well as, the signals should be received efficiently.Now, here is an image of electrodes inserted into your brain and as the process is done so accurately that even it doesn’t results to bleeding,which means the blood vessels are kept untouched.   

Credit - Neuralink

Now here,the electrodes are, it will receive the brain signals.But the question is that how it will be recorded. 

Credit - Neuralink
Credit - Neuralink

But,again on more question arises.

What would we do by recording this Brain Activity

So, the answer is that, we will be able to predict the next step to be taken by the brain by Reinforcement learning,as it is a  part of Deep learning, which is perfectly blended with your neurons of the brain and the receiver electrodes of the Link to produce the forecasting of brain activity.

How this predictions looks like or does it even comes closer to the actual data?

So, for that Musk again showed something much more interesting.
Credit - Neuralink

Here,you can see the actual data as well as the predicted data, which are very much accurate.

Now,look at the red signals,it show the carpels position.The deep red line is the actual data i.e., the actual position of the carpels while walking,but simultaneously the lighter lines are the predicted one which predicts where will be the carpels while walking.And the predictions are near to accurate and also is done in real time.

So,this is how it works.

As it won’t cause any harm to the brain even in long term,hence we can expect it soon in our future although this model is just in it’s basic  level only,a lot has to be done on the top of it.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Elon Musk

    Very nice chip

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