Elon Musk's company Neuralink works on human-machine interfaces. The firm's project, which has been kept secret until now, has come to light for the first time. The ultimate goal of Neuralink is to enable paralyzed people to control computers and phones.
The first important step taken for this purpose was flexible “threads”. The system, which is expected to cause less damage to the brain than the brain-machine interfaces currently in use, will also make high data transfer possible. According to an article on the project, “Elon Musk & Neuralink,” the system can reach up to 96 monitors, where 3072 electrodes are scattered.
These structures, which will be thinner than human hair, stand out as only the first part of the project. The other important step of Neuralink is the machine on which this system is embedded.
Musk gave a presentation about the firm and its work, saying the goal of that presentation was Recruitment. Max Hodak, the firm's president, said he didn't trust the idea much at first, but Musk convinced him.
Neuralink plans to eliminate the need to drill holes in the skull using laser beams passing through the skull in the future. The first trials will be conducted with neuroscientists from Stanford University. Musk also said they hope this product can be used in human patients by the end of next year.
In the question-and-answer section at the end of the presentation, Musk said that now a monkey can also use a computer. While Neuralink won't start controlling people's minds, the ultimate goal is to create a symbiote between artificial intelligence and the human brain, Musk said, they aim to read neural fluctuations from the brain.
Hodak said Neuralink is not a suddenly emerging firm, and academic studies have been done in this area for years. Still, the existing studies are not as advanced as Neuralink's technology. A special robot has also been developed to apply new technology with flexible cables to the brain.
Neuralink also announced that it is developing a chip capable of better reading, clearing signals and retrofitting. For now, the system only works with a cable connection. The firm currently continues to work on mice.
These monitors, which generally look like flexible threads in the system study, detect and record brain activity. This structure, which aims to increase bandwidth in brain-machine communication, is expected to provide cleaner and improved communication in the future.