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What exactly is Elon Musks’ Neuralink?

Introduction:

Elon Musk - he’s the most famous (and richest!) person on the planet. One of his many companies known as Neuralink focus on linking the brain with everyday technology through neural engineering.


“It’s like a fitbit in your skull” - Elon Musk


How does Neuralink tech work?


  • Neuralink aims to develop a fully integrated Brain Computer Interface system, where a cosmetically invisible brain implant that permits you to control a computer wherever you go.

  • Link is inserted into the brain (image)

  • Extremely small “neural threads” (to the scale of microns) are inserted in brain areas that control movement

    • Each thread contains a large number of electrodes to monitor for neural signals



What is neuralink for (potentially)?

  • Neuralink chip translates neural signals to actions on an external device

  • Initial goal is for quadriplegic people to control external devices

    • External devices will expand in scope, starting with the cursor on a computer screen, all the way to a game control and keyboard!

  • Restore neural and sensory function




Won’t having a chip implanted in your brain hurt, though?

  • Interestingly, the brain doesn’t have any neuroreceptors - so you won’t feel anything. And of course, neurosurgery always had associated risks.

  • Neuralink recognizes this and is developing a Neurosurgical robot (image)

  • Neurosurgical robot is aiming to insert the neuralink components into the brain in less than an hour, without the need for general anesthesia




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