In a surprise announcement Musk’s company Neuralink revealed that they were able to implant a chip into a monkey’s brain allowing it to control a computer with its mind.
This new technology being touted by famed pioneer Elon Musk has some intriguing developments related to linking the human brain to physical control systems.
Experts often call it a “brain-machine interface” and it relies on the insertion of small threads that will carry information from the brain to hardware enabling paralyzed humans to control devices. It’s something that a Musk company called Neuralink is trying to build.
The threads, though, is where the problem currently lies for advancing this type of technology.
Even though the threads are tiny, built on the nano-scale level, they still have to be inserted into the brain, and as the brain moves over time, the static positioning of the threads can cause brain damage.
In a recent presentation of his company’s research, Musk said the company is looking at recruiting in its effort to make this type of technology more feasible.
He also noted that Neuralink is hoping to replace a drilling system for the threads with laser technology in order to make these ‘mind control’ interfaces less invasive.
Currently, he explained, neurosurgical robots are able to place threads automatically.
Still, that leaves an array of risks that are likely to still throw up roadblocks for the technology as it advances.
“There’s a whole FDA process we have to go through,” Musk said, according to coverage from the Verge. “We haven’t done that yet.”
Animal tests are underway for the physical thread system, and that alone has created a lot of interest in what Neuralink is doing.
Will we soon have the ability to replace our physical device interfaces with noninvasive systems that work directly with our brains?
It’s not really still in the realm of science fiction – the technology is being adopted. It’s how far it will go and how fast that’s mostly an issue. We will continue to bring you news of developments as the world gets used to the idea of a next-generation interface that’s light on tangible hardware.