On Friday 28th August 2020, Neuralink, a start-up that Elon Musk co-founded, tested a brain implant tech on a pig named Gertrude and broadcasted via a live transmission.
Elon Musk hosted the show and first explained that one of the beauties of the Neuralink chip is its reversibility. The video showed a pig named Dorothy that once had an implant but after it was removed, the pig’s activity remained the same.
“So if you have a Neuralink and then you decide you don’t want it or you want an upgrade and the Neuralink is removed. It is removed in such a way that you are healthy and happy afterward. You can put in the Neuralink, remove it and be healthy and happy and indistinguishable,” Elon Musk explained.
Below, you can watch a video of the Neuralink live test that CNET posted on its YouTube channel:
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The implant connects to the pig’s snout and gives wireless feedback in the form of ‘beeping’ sounds and activity spikes to a computer. He says the feedback is coming from 1,024 electrodes in the outer layer of the pig’s brain. Additionally, he revealed that the implant had been inside the Gertrude for two months.
According to the tech boss, the main aim of the Neuralink project is to help in medical research into Neural activities. This can help treat brain, spinal cord and even congenital defects or damages. “If you can sense what people want to do with their limbs, you can do a second implant where the spinal injury occurred and create a neural shunt. I’m confident in the long term it’ll be possible to restore somebody’s full body motion,” Musk said.
However, this is not all, in a Tweet after the demonstration, Elon Musk who is not one to shy away from dreaming big, Tweeted:
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 29, 2020
This is a reference to the possibility that Neuralink could create telepathy, mind-reading, sharing thoughts by brain waves and so on. He himself agrees that the concept is weird, but it does not seem impossible.
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