On Tuesday, July 16, Elon Musk showed off the technology he is developing with Neuralink to allow paralyzed humans to control phones or computers.
What We Know:
- At the Neuralink Launch Event Tuesday, Musk revealed his newest technology: thin, flexible “threads” that will be entered into the skull through a newly invented embedding device and transfer data. Studies conducted have shown that these threads have allowed a monkey to control a computer with its brain.
- The threads are a massive step towards Musk’s ultimate goal of being able to implant technology into the brain to allow communication between human and computer; The threads can now be inserted using a “sewing machine-like” robot, a huge improvement from other techniques of penetrating the human skull.
- Though the technology has not yet been tested on humans, Musk said he hopes to have this thread in a human patient by the end of the year. The goal of the technology is to eventually “achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence,” which is what sets Neuralink’s work apart from the rich scientific history of work on brain implants.
- Musk said the primary reason for his presentation Tuesday was to recruit employees, not to pick up media attention. Neuralink executives have admitted their research has a “long way to go,” but want to begin to share their work publicly to make their work easier.
In addition to allowing for more advanced communication between humans and artificial intelligence, Musk’s technology could help humans with physical disabilities.