Elon Musk: Neuralink hopes to start implanting its brain chips in humans in 2022

Elon Musk said Neuralink hopes to start implanting its brain chips in humans in 2022

Elon Musk has said that Neuralink, his brain-interface technology company, hopes to start implanting its microchips in human beings next year.

Musk Co-founded Neuralink in 2016.  It is developing a chip that would be implanted in people’s brains to simultaneously record and stimulate brain activity. It is intended to have medical applications such as treating serious spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders.

In April, the startup released a video of a monkey named Pager with the brain-computer interface chip. He was able to play video games using only its mind.

Neuralink said two chips implanted flush with the skull, send brain signals from the monkey through a 1,024 electrode transmission device. The signals are further decoded and calibrated to predict the monkey’s intentions.

The company said with six weeks of practice, the monkey learned to play Pong, the 1970’s classic video game. In return for a banana smoothie reward.

Elon Musk Says a Pong-Playing Monkey Proves Neuralink Works

“To control his paddle on the right side of the screen, Pager simply thinks about moving his hand up or down”. Neuralink had said in the video.

The video claimed that the nine-year-old macaque, named Pager, had two Neuralink devices implanted in his brain. Six weeks ago in an area called the motor cortex. Which coordinates hand and arm movement. In the video, the monkey first learned how to use a joystick to move a cursor to targets on a screen. In exchange for a banana smoothie delivered through a straw. The “Link” devices recorded his neuron activity while he interacted with the computer.  Then fed the data into a “decoder algorithm” to predict Pager’s hand movements in real-time. Eventually, the monkey was able to move the cursor to where he wanted without touching the joystick, a narrator explained.

Following the release of the video, Musk said that the first Neuralink products would enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind. With later versions that would help “paraplegics to walk again.”

These experiments are early steps that could one day enable people with paralysis to operate computers and mobile devices with ease only using their neural activity.

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