The billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk revealed more details about Neuralink, a company he co-founded in 2017 that explores brain-computer interfaces. He says that the company is developing technology that consists of a probe containing 3,000 electrodes attached to tiny flexible threads that can monitor the activity of 1,000 neurons. These devices, thinner than a human hair, would be inserted into a subject’s skull and used to stimulate specific parts of the brain.
Musk says that the system could eventually lead to “symbiosis with artificial intelligence”. Also, it could be used to treat medical conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s, analysing brain signals using machine learning algorithms. Neuralink has applied to commence human trials with this technology in the US.
A lot of work needs to be done before neural interfaces become a reality
Developing neural interfaces that improve cognitive function and enable patients to control computers with their brains has been a long standing goal of medical scientists. And although Neuralink has made significant advances in this field, a lot of work remains to be done before commercial services can be launched.