Neuralink, a startup owned by Elon Musk which is working on brain-computer interfacing, has now developed a device that will allow users to listen to music with their brains.
Elon Musk, the head of this startup, is said to reveal this new technology in a few days. However, we see some bits and pieces of information in his tweets recently. Talking about the technology with computer scientist Austin Howard Musk explained that Neuralink’s technology would enable humans to “listen to music directly from our chips.”
Human-Computer interfacing is a subject under works for a long time. In simple words, interfacing means communication. Human-Computer interfacing means that computers and our bodies will be able to communicate with each other. This will open up a whole new frontier for scientific development in technological as well as medical fields.
Talking about the medical applications, Elon Musk said, “(Neuralink) could help control hormone levels and use them to our advantage.” Hormonal imbalances in the human body cause a lot of mental as well as physical disorders. Using Neuralink doctors can regulate these chemicals in our body, which will help in curing or controlling the disease.
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Founded in 2016, Neuralink has been working on technological solutions. However, The company has been silent about their work and findings. They have only had a single public presentation since then. In 2019 while talking to the press, Elon Musk said that this small device would act as a communications bridge between the brain and a computer.
Musk said that with Neuralink, they are aiming to treat people affected by brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Palsy. For the future, they plan to have more applications like information transfer to get mechanical intelligence in humans.
This will require a small surgery to be installed inside the brain. According to Musk, the process is similar to having a Lasik Eye surgery. The system will consist of two parts. One part of it is a neurosurgical robot, which fits flexible “threads” into the brain. A small implantable chip connected to the robot manages the instructions. According to a research paper on this device for the computer connection, it relies on a single USB Type-C connection.
The 11 job listings posted on Neralink’s website further hint that the device is nearing release. The job fields include a mechanical engineer, a robotics software engineer, and a “histology technician.” Elon Musk also tweeted about these job openings explicitly asking for people with prior experience in wearables.
“If you’ve solved hard problems with phones/ wearables (sealing, signal processing, inductive charging, power management, etc.), please consider working at [Neuralink],” he tweeted.
This device has already gone through animal trials with plans for human trials this year. We will have to see how they adjust due to the COVID pandemic. Either way, a public release is near, and we will see detailed specifications of this new invention soon.
Success in computer interfacing with the brain will open up other new frontiers like bio organs and copying human consciousness. The latter is the first step towards eternal life. If we can copy our thoughts and memories to a computer, we can practically live forever.