Friday, September 18, 2020

Musk may reveal human trials for brain-computer tech this week

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San Francisco: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is all set to reveal a key update on his brain-machine interface company Neuralink this week and may announce human trials for the technology that has been successful on mice and even apes.

While the whole agenda is still speculative, a live demonstration of neuron firing activity is confirmed.

“Will show neurons firing in real-time on August 28th. The matrix in the matrix,” Musk tweeted last month.

Musk has also claimed that a new Neuralink chip will allow users to hear sounds that previously were impossible to human ears.

He confirmed the new feature last month over an exchange with a Twitter user who asked: “If we implement Neuralink – can we listen to music directly from our chips? Great feature.”

Musk replied with a simple, “yes”.

He also confirmed that the chip would be able to control hormone levels, which would have the potential to help with anxiety relief, among other things.

To help paralysed people control devices and empower people with brain disorders, Neuralink last year unveiled tiny brain “threads” in a chip which is long-lasting, usable at home and has the potential to replace cumbersome devices currently used as brain-machine interfaces.

In February this year, Musk promised an “awesome” update by Neuralink.

“The profound impact of high bandwidth, high precision neural interfaces is underappreciated. Neuralink may have this in a human as soon as this year,” Musk had tweeted.

“Wait until you see the next version vs what was presented last year. It’s awesome,” he added.

The technology has a module that sits outside the head, behind the ear, and receives information from “threads” embedded in the brain.

Controlled by an iPhone app, the chip called “N1 sensor” with just a USB port coming out can have as many as 3,072 electrodes per array distributed across 96 “threads” — each “thread” smaller than the tiniest human hair.

The chip which will be wireless in the future can read, transmit high-volume data and amplify signals from the brain.

“This has the potential to solve several brain-related diseases. The idea is to understand and treat brain disorders, preserve and enhance your brain and create a well-aligned future,” Musk told the audience at the launch event last year.

Musk founded Neuralink in 2016 but has only held one major public presentation.

However, more details about Neuralink will be presented at an event on August 28.

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