Elon Musk unveils pig with chip in its brain - Neuralink

Elon Musk has unveiled a pig called Gertrude with a coin-sized computer chip in her brain to demonstrate his ambitious plans to create a working brain-to-machine interface.

“It’s kind of like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires,” the billionaire entrepreneur said on a webcast.

His start-up Neuralink applied to launch human trials last year.

The interface could allow people with neurological conditions to control phones or computers with their mind.

Mr Musk argues such chips could eventually be used to help cure conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injuries.

Not sure how I feel tbh, I would much prefer testing is not done on animals (or the vulnerable/poor, but so long as no animals were harmed in the lead-up to this :neutral_face:

I guess this kind of tech is something we are going to hear more and more about, and is likely going to be part of the future of humans (/transhumans).

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Such kind of tech can never progress unless living beings – animals or humans – get harmed, in big numbers too. It’s inevitable by the virtue of us almost having no clue what we’re doing when it comes to the brain.

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Not everyone was impressed…

“I don’t think there was anything revolutionary in the presentation,” he said.

"But they are working through the engineering challenges of placing multiple electrodes into the brain.

"In terms of their technology, 1,024 channels is not that impressive these days, but the electronics to relay them wirelessly is state-of-the-art, and the robotic implantation is nice.

“The biggest challenge is what you do with all this brain data. The demonstrations were actually quite underwhelming in this regard, and didn’t show anything that hasn’t been done before.”

He went on to question why Neuralink’s work was not being published in peer-reviewed papers.

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It’s not been hard to get such information out of the brain, but by having the electrodes ‘in’ the brain it is significantly more accurate and less noisy, plus you can get very fine grained data depending on where the electrodes are inserted. What they’ve pioneered so far is the technology to easily put electrodes ‘in’ the brain cheaply, quickly, and safely, and show that it sends useful data out. The data itself, sure, wasn’t used for much yet, but I know I’d already build a set of things to use such data to perform things for me if I had them. You can build stuff to use the data later, it’s important to be able to get it out very well first. ^.^;

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