- Neuralink, founded by Elon Musk in 2016, is a pioneering company dedicated to developing brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) that enable direct brain connections to technology and other individuals, allowing real-time actions without delays.
- The potential applications of Neuralink's BCIs are vast, ranging from assisting communication for people with disabilities, revolutionizing gaming experiences, advancing neuroscience research, and augmenting human capabilities, to providing interventions for spinal cord injuries.
- While Neuralink has secured substantial funding and demonstrated successful testing on animals, ethical concerns and challenges remain, such as the need for improved security against hacking and addressing potential adverse effects. The vision of Neuralink promises an exciting future, but responsible consideration of its implications is crucial.
Sci-fi is a genre that is loved and anticipated by all and I am a big fan too but why is that? It is just a far-fetched imagination of a bunch of people, so what fun in that.
That’s what I asked myself today so to answer this, I want to show you a quote by Javed Akhtar “Cinema is an edited reality and a mirror to society”. In a nutshell, this is why we love new sci-fi movies.
Let me explain, these past few decades showed us that this world is being run by innovation and technological discoveries, and that's what we should be looking at. And these sci-fi movies give us a glimpse of the possible future which we might have waiting for us.
This is why we love sci-fi movies. So we can be prepared for the future or at least to face it. And that proved to be true as well a lot of imaginations done in the sci-fi world are a reality now, especially prosthetics.
People without limbs were called or seen as crippled at an early age. But now they are running in the Olympics because of technological advancements, and we should be proud of that. But now another dream of ours is too close to be a reality.
Brain-computer interface, or you can call it a computer in your brain. It will create a world that we are only able to see in games and movies this has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact, the way we live, and the way we do everything. And I am totally in for that.
We are going to live in the fiction which we admire. It seems like it came from the world of Blade Runner, Cyberpunk Edgerunner, etc.
The founder of Neuralink
If you are living in the 21st century, it’s not possible that you haven’t heard this man’s name. Elon Musk is being called the real-life Tony Stark and he deserves it as well.
This man’s portfolio speaks for itself, he founded companies like Paypal, SpaceX, Tesla, OpenAI, etc., and is a visionary who turns imagination into reality with his bare hands. He did things that even NASA wasn’t able to do like building reusable rockets and now he is up for a new task.
One of the most anticipated Tech
Elon Musk founded Neuralink in 2016. Neuralink is a company building brain-computer interfaces (BCI) that can be implanted within the skull. This will make humankind look more like Gamora and cyborgs in the near future I hope. Jokes apart.
Their goal is to help challenged patients with communication and to move as well. This can revolutionize the way we interact with technology and each other.
BCI system receives the brain signals, analyzes them, and translates them into commands so that the action can be seen on the output device. This system directly links the brain and the output device, such as a computer, so you can see action in real time without delay.
BCI user has to go through an iterative training process to learn to produce signals that BCI is capable of recognizing.
To understand BCI we will have to understand it’s type so that when the time comes we can choose which option we would need and not look confused.
There are three types of BCIs, and they are categorized by their invasiveness. Non-invasive (EEG, MEG, EOG, MRI), Partially Invasive (ECoG and endovascular), and Invasive (Microelectrode array).
Thumb rule - The closer the electrode gets to the brain tissue, the more invasive it is.
Some more fascinating uses of BCIs
Communication - BCI can help people to express themselves who are not able to communicate. It can help to spell words or do shopping or to run a wheelchair or any other device. Just like Stephen Hawking, it helps people with paralysis to type directly via brain control with faster speed and more accuracy.
Gaming - you can play games without any controller or keyboard the action will be performed by your brain so you can play and eat as well I guess sweet right?
Neuroscience - With this, doctors and scientists will be able to understand the brain in a more detailed manner. And will increase our understanding of the brain as well.
Augmenting Human Capabilities - forget VR sets you won’t have to wear anything to interact with devices you will be able to do that in the blink of an eye. This enhances the memory and learning capabilities of humans
Spinal Cord Injury and Intervention - BCIs are emerging as a solution to Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) because they can reanimate the paralyzed limbs. Researchers have developed a Brain-Computer-Spinal Interface(BCSI) that sues recording and simulation methods in separate human applications to improve the function of upper extremity paralysis.
Due to these applications and the promising vision of neural link, they have raised $271 million over three rounds from 16 investors, which includes Vantage Legacy Capital, Raison, Founders Fund, Google Ventures, etc., and with this, Neuralink got valued at $5 billion.
They have produced several examples for testing and completed their testing with animals. They demonstrated the capability of the device by implanting it in a monkey named Macaque, who played a simple video game with ease.
The Dark Side
This all seems like a dream come true, but there is a dark side to this as well. We must work on those things as well there are reports that suggest that 1,500 animals were killed in the process of testing the Neuralink.
You will be prone to be hacked. Abrasiveness can cause trouble for you. And many more reasons, but we will have to improve it as we go down the road, it looks promising. There is an anime which released last year and won the title of anime of the year produced by Netflix, and it’s called Cyberpunk Edgerunner.
It’s one of my favorites. Its story runs in a world created in the game Cyberpunk 2077 by CD Projekt Red. This anime shows the side effects of the implants and introduces us to a new disease called cyber-psychosis which is a common occurrence that happens to those who use too many tech implants.
It’s a beautiful anime to understand this topic so go and watch it, I am sure it will be worth your time.
Every revolution costs because it changes the understanding of the common norms and establishes new grounds and possibilities, it changes the world forever, and I am all in for that. Are you?
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Edited by Shruti Thapa