Elon Musk’s Neuralink: Elon Musk has largely kept details about his brain tech startup Neuralink a secret, with only giving a few teasers here and there. What is the latest teaser? During a Twitter interaction, a user asked Elon Musk if users would be able to listen to music directly to their brain using Neuralink, the tech mogul replied with a simple “yes”. Another user had asked Musk if Neuralink could stimulate the release of oxytocin, serotonin or some other chemicals when needed, to which Musk also replied with a “yes”.
Musk’s idea of “bringing music to brain” is different from various headphone companies, which have often used the phrase as an exaggeration. While headphone companies meant that they would send vibrations to skull to send music to the brain which would feel like the music was reaching the brain, Musk literally meant that the music would reach the brain – sans headphones. Elon Musk’s brain interface startup is most likely going to stimulate neurons inside the brain to make sure that the music directly reaches it.
Neuralink is an ambitious secretive startup that, according to its Twitter bio, is developing high-bandwidth interfaces which would connect machines with human brains. According to a tweet Musk sent out earlier this month, a progress update on Neuralink is scheduled for August 28.
Neuralink: What we know so far
While much still remains unknown about Musk’s plan for the 2017 startup, in a recent podcast, the technology entrepreneur had said that the initial iterations of the technology they are working on focuses on repairing the neural connections in patients of brain disorders like Parkinson’s.
Apart from this, the only information that is available on the startup and its project is based on a presentation that was made in 2019, after over two years of silence. In the presentation, Musk, who is a long-standing contender for the meshing of human brains with technology to overpower the AI outbreak, said that ultimately, the startup could carry out a full brain-machine interface.
The early vision of the startup, as explained in the nearly two-hour-long presentation, was a small sensor which had thin strands. These strands would be implanted in the brain by cutting holes in the skull with the help of lasers. Musk had said that thousands of electrodes could be connected to the brain of a person. According to Nueralink, this would not be stressful to put in, and it would be wireless and work well. The chip would connect with an earpiece wirelessly, according to the vision, and the earpiece would relay the information to a smartphone application.
The initial technological goal for this project would be to let a person control a smartphone merely with the help of his thoughts, and the long-term vision included the technology extension to other devices like robotic arms.
Musk believes that his ambitious project has tremendous potential, since it would, according to him, give humans an edge over the ever-expanding Artificial Intelligence.