Neuralink

Elon Musk Is Starting Medical Trials To Merge Human Brains With AI

sydney.brooman 17 Jul 2019

Elon Musk announced today in a livestream that he has begun a new project called Neurolink: an AI based interface placed within the human brain to increase brain function.

Musk explained that the devices will not only help those with brain injuries, but also allow our brain function to keep up with that of the technology we use everyday.

Human trials of Neurolink will begin early next year.

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"Ultimately we can do a full brain machine interface," Musk stated in the livestream. "This is going to sound pretty weird. Ultimately we can achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence."

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"This is not a mandatory thing, this is something you can choose to have if you want."

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Essentially, the Neurolink chips will be implanted in the brain in order to "treat a variety of brain injuries and diseases, including paralysis, Alzheimer’s, and dementia."

"Unless we have some sort of brain-machine interface that can solve brain ailments of all kinds, whether it’s an accident or congenital, any kind of disorder or a spinal disorder, we can solve that with a chip," he continued.

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The main purpose of the livestream was recruitment, as the project is in its very early stages.

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Though he did let viewers in on how the initial testing for the chips has gone so far.

"Each test chip has 1,024 electrodes worth of threads," he explained, "Which is already good for around 10 times more data acquisition than is possible with current medical devices such as those used to treat Parkinson’s via Deep Brain Stimulation."

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Each human trial will have four chip implants.

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However, Musk anticipates that due to the small size of the chip, just 4mm by 5mm, it may be able to implant up to 10 of these chips in a single brain.

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"Neuralink will be attempting to use its device to allow quadriplegics to control a computer."

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This process will involve "inserting the aforementioned threads into the primary motor cortex" which will control the body's motor functions.

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This will allow a paralyzed patient to think about moving their hand to move a mouse rather than physically doing so.

Neurolink

The interface device will interpret that brain activity to move the mouse accordingly.

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It is difficult to tell whether or not the company will be able to meet its ambitious goals.

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With Musk wanting to begin human trials next year, a lot is still up in the air. This is why the livestream is essentially a 'call for advice' from those most knowledgeable in the medical and technological communities.

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Watch the livestream for yourself.

Do you think that Musk is getting in over his head, or is a human brain / AI combination the future of technology and medical practice?

h/t: Vice, Youtube

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