Two years ago Elon Musk launched a company called Neuralink. Musk already leads high-profile companies including Tesla, SpaceX, and Hyperloop, but Neuralink may be the 48 year-old entrepreneur’s most ambitious plan yet: to surgically connect human brains with artificial intelligence through an ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interface.
Neuralink had so far remained silent regarding its research. But that changed last night, when the San Francisco-based company live-streamed a progress report showcasing its experimental brain-machine-interface (BMI) system, which inserts sensor and electrodes into brains to connect neurons for data transfer.
Neuralink President Max Hodak says the company will start experiments with human subjects in 2020 and hopes to quickly leverage the BMI system to treat patients with brain diseases or spinal cord injuries.
The ultimate goal of Neuralink however lies beyond disease treatment. Musk’s dream was spawned by AI’s unprecedented progress over recent years and its potential for human cognitive enhancement toward the new superintelligence that people like futurist Ray Kurzweil believe is approaching. In a 2018 interview with podcaster Joe Rogan, Musk said Neuralink will do this by symbiotically merging human brains with a super digital intelligence that will serve as a tertiary cognition layer augmenting the human cortex and limbic systems.
Musk on AI: “If you can’t beat it, join it.”
Musk proposes that humans today can already be regarded as cyborgs, thanks to cyborganic extensions such as smartphones and computers that enable us to gain knowledge, run quicker calculations, and generally expand our capabilities. Data transfer however remains a major bottleneck in the communication between humans and their digital devices. Although we have evolved interfaces from keyboards to mouses and now voice in order to speed up data transfer, Musk believes he can eliminate the bottleneck altogether with digital implants that read our minds.
Inside the Neuralink BMI system
Neuralink’s BMI system consists of three main components: ultra-thin threads, a sort of robotic sewing machine, and sensors.
Musk’s brain machine implants synthetic threads of 4 to 6 μm in width (about one quarter the diameter of a human hair). These threads have electrodes that receive and transfer information from neurons in brains to dedicated sensors connected to the outside digital world. In their experiments, Neuralink researchers have already implanted 96 threads with 32 electrodes each (3072 electrodes) in primate brains.
Because even experienced human surgeons lack the dexterity required to insert such thin and flexible threads into brains, Neuralink has developed a sophisticated robotic electrode inserter comprising a loaded needle pincher cartridge, low-force contact brain position sensor, light modules, needle monitor, and multiple cameras.
Neuralink isn’t the first entity to design a brain implant system. In 2006 Brown University researchers proposed BrainGate to help patients who have lost control of their limbs or other bodily functions due to conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). BrainGate consists of a sensor implanted in the brain, known as the “Utah Array,” which consists of 100 electrodes that can receive signals firing in specific areas of the brain. Compared to BrainGate, the Neuralink BMI system uses many more electrodes for data transfer and is made of materials that are better matched to the properties of human brain tissues, and so promises better compatibility and durability.
The robotic electrode inserter can automatically insert up to six threads with 192 electrodes per minute. It is also integrated with a custom software to target insertion sites before execution and avoid thread entanglement. According to a project white paper credited to Elon Musk and Neuralink, the robotic inserter has demonstrated an average of 87.1 percent (+- 12.6 percent) insertion success rate over 19 primate surgeries.
As the electron threads record neuron activities, a processor connected to the threads amplifies, filters, and digitalizes the signals and sends them to the BMI system. Over the last 24 months the Neuralink team has designed multiple neural processing application-specific-integrated-circuits (ASIC) equipped with 256 individually programmable amplifiers to handle this part of the process.
A complete packaged Neuralink sensor device contains threads and 12 ASICs with 3072 amplifiers corresponding to 3072 electrodes and is wired with USB-C access for data transfer. Musk says that a monkey equipped with this Neuralink BMI system is now able to control a computer.
Researchers are now developing a wireless BMI system for use in human subjects. The N1 sensor can connect to 1,024 electrodes wired to a wearable pod (with bluetooth and battery) worn behind the ear. Each sensor is able to run spike detection algorithms to process digitalized broadband signals.
Neuralink plans to implant four such sensors in a human subject, three in the motor cortex and one in the somatosensory cortex. Neuralink Senior Scientist Philip Sabes says the BMI system can decode neural signals recorded from the motor cortex and could one day use that information for direct brain stimulation to help in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, dystonia, etc.
Neuralink says that in the future its BMI system could be controlled through an iPhone app.
In the bid to realize their high-tech, Black Mirror-like vision, Neuralink has assembled a team of top scientists, including:
- Philip Sabes, a UC San Francisco professor whose lab has worked on brain-machine interfaces
- Vanessa Tolosa, a biocompatible materials researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- Benjamin Rapoport, a neurosurgeon who also has a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT
- Timothy Gardner, an associate professor of biology at Boston University who has implanted devices in birds
- Max Hodak, who worked on brain-machine interface technology while at Duke University
- Paul Merolla, a veteran designer for more than 10 brain-inspired chips
Musk stressed that the “primary purpose” of last night’s Neuralink livestream event was to recruit additional talent to work on the project. The company has raised US$158 million and employs over 90 people.
Journalist: Tony Peng | Editor: Michael Sarazen
The article you have shared is amazing info! All the best !
With digital cryptocurrencies all set to take over the financial world, the requirement for cryptocurrency exchanges has increased rapidly to a whole new level. The Crypto enthusiasts investing in multiple cryptocurrencies on the fly, feature-rich, highly flexible cryptocurrency exchanges are the need of the hour. Lots of investors are looking for opportunities to launch their customized cryptocurrency exchanges in a matter of weeks. This is where you can buy the Cryptocurrency Exchange Software Script solution comes in.
Zeligz Web Store offers an exclusive Crypto Exchange Script custom-made with your distinct business necessities. Their crypto exchange script solution has already acquired global traction with exceptional perks such as fast transaction processing, referral programs, real-time data analysis, and more than adequate cash flow.
Thanks!! Really good to read.
Thanks For Sharing
Interesting share of you. Great!
Apps On Demand provides Top Rated On Demand App Development solutions to revolutionize your business to the next height. On Demand App Development for taxi booking apps, Food Delivery Apps, Apps for Entertainment,Services apps like cleaning or doctor apps, Marketplace solution apps and matchmaking apps like job portals or dating apps.
Nice Article and Very good Idea about the Neural Link Plan.
The article you have shared is informative and helpful.
The article you have shared is amazing info!
Cryptocurrency exchange software is solution for trading of assets such as cryptocurrencies, tokens ,fiats other assets. Software has market making or liquidity options are provided.Codono supports All fiat currencies. so you can create market Between Fiat-Crypto, Fiat-Fiat, Crypto-Crypto.Moreover it supports almost any Coin/Token, ie Bitcoin[BTC,LTC,Doge] , Tron [Trc10+TRC20]*, Ethereum Based[ ETH -ERC20, BNB-BEP20, FTM, SOL, Private Networks], XRP, XMR, Waves ,Coinpayments, and many more.
Codono.com supports Auto detection of deposits , Each user is assigned with Unique deposit per coin. Deposits are detected instantly and credited to users. Withdrawals are automatic and manual approval too.Cryptocurrency exchange clone script is used to develop cryptocurrency exchanges so like binance, huobi, coinbase. Turnkey crypto trading script provides similar crypto trading features so you can start crypto exchange within a week.
Codono is developing crypto exchange software from 6 years suitable for small to enterprise scale firms.You can get cryptocurrency exchange development services like Web version or mobile app deploymentto allow users to trade easily.
Exchange is connected with various blockchain networks to provide wallet ,deposit and withdrawal like services.Software provides support and capable for Fiat gateway integration for Creditcard and Bank deposits.Fully Loaded API Endpoints and Documentation for quick integrations.
User to User orders matching using Orderbook and Trading Engine allows instant trading of assets.Dex module Allow users to Buy your Tokens using their metamask/trust wallet. They send/receive on same automatically. Users can Buy – sell crypto from customers using OTC module .
You can Earn your customers Loyalty and make to return to your exchange using Faucet module. With airdrop module on cryptocurrency exchange software allow users to hold and earn Incentives by airdropping. With Invest module involve users to invest in Great projects and allow them to earn interest over it.
Codono is different , we provide you complete software to host on your own server.
EVM stands for Ethereum Virtual Machine, and there are over 600+ Known EVM chains including
ETH, BNB, MATIC, FTM, and many more.
These networks support smart contracts like ERC20, ERC721, and ERC1155. Here ERC stands for
Ethereum Request for Comment. These standards have especially ERC20 been dominant & helpful
in Creating Tokens in Cryptocurrency networks. Tokens have been quite popular in There have been
an increasing number of tokens in multiples of thousands.
ICOs stands for Initial Coin Offering or IEO ie Initial Exchange Offerings have used tokens in their
Contribution for the guest post for your site.
Thank you for such informative article
Hey there! It’s great that you’ve started studying NFT. Therefore, I would like to advise you something! Whether you are an experienced collector or just starting your NFT journey, SAFT NFT provides a seamless experience for everyone. Feel free to check out SAFT NFT and explore the vast world of digital art. I think it will be useful for you!
Helpful content you did shared.
sounds good. thanks for sharing
Wow,…nice article shared with you.