Elon Musk has made efforts over the past few years to develop an interface between the human brain and computing devices. Elon Musk shows Neuralink’s tech live using pigs on this Friday. He says the purpose of the presentation is not fundraising or any kind of promotion but it is for recruitment.
Musk said that the reason behind this invention is to make it available to those who have some neurological problems. Almost everybody has some neurological problem like memory loss, anxiety, brain damage, depression, and so many ailments. Certainly, there is not evidence that any of the ailments can solved very easily and quickly. So it’s challenging to see the cogent end goal of the company.
The goal may be progressive and need a lot of medical and ethical debate. But the technology that musk demonstrated is much less so. He noted that the Neuralink design had changed since last year, a small device profile that can be hidden under hair once installed in a skull. He showed its size with a physical device in hand.
Tech live using pigs with chip in its brain
Then Elon Musk shows Neuralink’s tech live using pigs. He turned the audience’s attention to three pigs that were present in nearby pens. There have been three pigs, one was untreated, second (“Gertrude”) installed with a Neuralink device. And also the third one had previously installed the device but subsequently had it removed.
Gertrude ate and sniffed straw, and her neural activities started showing up on a graph tracking. A display showed that the processor in her brain sends wireless signals, indicating neural activity in her snout when looking for food.
Musk said that the company had received a breakthrough device designation from the US food and drug administration. In July, the company is preparing for the first human implantation.
The demonstrated device was a read-only device. Only receiving data from pig’s brain but the plan is to provide both read and write capabilities.
Moreover, Musk showed the pig which he had implant the device removed safely. Because the plan is to provide updates to hardware and their better versions will become available over time
The first clinical trial of the device will focus on individuals with paraplegia (the injury caused by the cervical spinal cord). The first clinical trial plan is to enroll a smaller number of individuals in order to test the technology device.