You telepathically summon Tesla. Elon Musk unveils a brain-computer interface prototype called Link

On the night of Friday to Saturday Polish time, during a press conference and a question-and-answer session, Elon Musk presented information about the current state of development work carried out at Neuralink , which is trying to build an interface between the brain and the computer.

During the conference, Musk presented Link - a prototype of a device that the company wants to surgically implant into the skulls of its customers. The device itself is small (the size of a coin) and will be inserted into a cut piece of the skull bone, so it will not protrude from the skull in any way. The link will be able to transmit information between the brain and the computer or smartphone in both directions.

The device in the version from last year and now

In many ways, it is a Fitbit built into the skull, with tiny cables. I could have a Neuralink on my head right now and you wouldn't even notice. Perhaps I just have

Musk charmed.

Link device prototype

The central element of the presentation was the information that Neuralink had already installed prototypes of its device in the brains of several live pigs.

Three of them appeared during the presentation: one never had the device, another named Gertrude had a chip in the skull for several months, and the third had Link previously installed, but it was removed after some time.

A chip installed in Gertrude's brain picked up signals from the area of ​​the brain that was related to the mouth. So when a pig touched the ground with its mouth, signals appeared on the screen showing the activity of certain neurons.

Perhaps the most technologically advanced element of the presentation was the previously prepared video of a pig on a treadmill. The adjacent graphs showed the actual position of the pig's joints, and the position of the joints as interpreted by the Link device installed in the pig's brain - the two graphs almost 100 percent overlapping each other.

Human testing is coming soon

So far, the device has not been tested on humans, although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized Link as a breakthrough device, thanks to which the company will receive feedback from the agency throughout the entire development process of the device.

The first clinical trials will be conducted in a small number of patients with severe spinal cord injury. Last year, Musk planned to start human clinical trials in 2020. According to company officials, such patients will regain mobility over time with a second implant implanted directly into the core.

If you have Neuralink installed and decide you no longer want it, or if you want to install a newer version, it can be surgically removed at any time

Says Musk.

Due to the limitations related to the presentation, which was quite intimate, there is no way to verify this data yet.

Our primary goal is to solve the problems of people with diseases, whether in the brain or in the spine, using a device implanted in the head. With time, it may be possible to restore sight to some blind people, restore the ability to move to paralyzed people or restore hearing

Musk argued.

According to Elon, Link will be able to correct them by locating the places in the brain where abnormal electrical signals are sent. In this way, it will be possible to treat problems with memory, hearing, vision, paralysis, depression, insomnia, severe pain, seizures, addictions or paresis after a stroke.

Who will implant Link? Of course the robot

According to information provided by Musk, the company has also developed a robot that will be adapted to perform the entire operation of implanting the device in the head.

We are confident that the entire implantation procedure will take less than an hour. You will be able to come to the clinic in the morning and leave with Link in the afternoon.

During the question and answer session, answering questions from Twitter users, Musk admitted that, of course, over time, using Link will be able to "telepathically" summon Tesla or play Starcraft.

When asked about the cost of the device, Musk estimated that the ultimate cost of the device and its implantation operation would amount to several thousand dollars.

The whole conference, or actually the presentation, also had one more purpose. Elon Musk encouraged all capable engineers to join the Neuralink team to further develop the project together. This is quite an unusual way of recruiting, but if it works, why not take advantage of this opportunity, because at one point, despite the 40-minute delay, the conference was followed by over 100,000 people from all over the world on YouTube. Currently, about 100 people work at Neuralink, and ultimately there will be even 10,000 of them.

You telepathically summon Tesla. Elon Musk unveils a brain-computer interface prototype called Link


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