On Friday, billionaire businessman Elon Musk demonstrated the function of its startup Neuralink, which was implanted in the brain of a pig for two months. The coin-sized chip showed an early move towards its aim of managing human diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia and spinal cord injuries with the same device type.
As we saw in the video, Gertrude’s movement when he travels within the pen was seen through a wireless connection from the Neuralink system. Musk stated, “It’s like a Fitbit in your head with thin cables”.
Gertrude was one of three pigs involved in the webcast presentation on Friday. It took a while to go, but while it was chewing and sniffing paw, the movement came up in a map that tracked its neural function.
The San Francisco Bay Area-based Neuralink which is cofounded by Tesla Inc, and SpaceX CEO Musk in 2016, has the goal of developing portable brain-computing devices that require thousands of electrodes on the most complicated human organ to potentially treat neurological disorders.
Mr. Musk did not state any commencement date for the trial, although earlier it was announced that by end of this year a human trial will begin. The company’s chief surgeon Dr. Matthew MacDougall said Neuralink’s first clinical studies for a limited number of patients in humans will address paralysis or paraplegia.
The presentation suggests that Neuralink has made tremendous strides, yet Musk explained that more research is required.
Mr. Musk said the implant was done on three pigs and they are “healthy, happy, and indistinguishable from a normal pig”. He also stated that his company predicted the pig’s limb movement during a treadmill run at “high accuracy” using implant data.
The Neuralink’s chip may also boost neurological condition comprehension by interpreting brain waves, as said by the scientists.
Mr. Musk said recruitment, not fundraising, was the aim of Friday’s gathering. Mr. Musk has a history of putting together international experts to speed up the production, which was previously limited only to academic laboratories’ inventions, including rocket, hyperloop, and electric vehicle technology, through businesses such as Tesla and SpaceX.
Neuralink obtained $158 million in support from Mr. Musk, including $100 million and about a hundred employees.
Mr. Musk, who also cautioned of the possibility of artificial intelligence, said “any kind of AI symbiosis where you have an AI expansion will be the most significant accomplishment of the implant outside medical applications”.
For decades tiny machines are used in humans that activate electronically the nerves and brain regions to manage hearing loss and Parkinson’s disease. A variety of individuals who have lost influence of bodily function owing to spinal cord trauma or medical disorders such as strokes have also carried out brain implant studies.