‘Neuralink’ is a team of talented people founded by Elon Musk in July 2016 which is based on Neural Engineering. According to the founder, the goal of Neuralink is “ to solve important brain & spine problems with a seamlessly implanted device”. Simply put, it is a brain-machine interface which will be incorporated in the brain through surgery without any alteration in the feelings or looks of the person. In this blog, we will be learning about what is Neuralink brain chip? and how does it work?
What is the purpose or Neuralink or how can it be useful?
Neuralink is a neural implant that will allow the person to communicate with machines and control them from anywhere. It is aiming to build a fully integrated brain-machine interface system. It can connect the brain of a paralysed person to a machine and restore the sense of touch. In case of any sort of serious spinal injury which has restricted the movement of any or more than one of the limbs of the body, neuralink will serve as the saviour. Not only this, the company is positive about the fact that in the future it would be able to store memories as a backup.
The Link is the Neuralink chipset which is about a size of a coin (diameter of 8mm) with about an inch long wires having electrodes connected to it and can be fitted perfectly removing a piece of the skull (diameter of 10mm). These threads will detect the neural signals and then these signals will be processed, stimulated and transmitted by the Link. The link version 0.9 has about 1024 channels per link and the wires are as thick as a neuron and thinner than a strand of hair. It can be inductively charged and provides an all day battery life.
How does the Neuralink brain chip work?
Neurons are the fundamental units of the nervous system which sends and receive information using neurotransmitters. There are 86 billion neurons in the brain which connect to each other through synapses to form a large network and passes information between the different parts of brain as well as the rest of the nervous system through chemical signals and electrical impulses. Now what Neuralink does is it places the electrodes near these neurons and records the action potential or voltage spike. These recordings are then converted into the algorithm of the machines and hence a communication between the brain and the machine is established.
How can ‘the Link’ be implanted?
Since the brain is extremely sensitive and the threads of the link are extremely fine, it’s impossible for any human to surgically implant this. Hence in order to maintain the precision of work and reduce any sort of risk the company will be using a robotic system for the execution of the surgery. The advanced robot is capable of completing the surgery in less than an hour without any general anesthesia. This surgical robot will detect and insert the threads with electrodes in such manner to avoid any bleeding or noticeable damage.
Price of Neuralink
According to Elon Musk himself, the Link will be expensive in the beginning but the company will try it’s best to reduce its price over time to the lowest possible value, as low as few thousand dollars.
Can Neuralink be hacked? Is Neuralink dangerous?
Well one of the main concerns for the application of neuralink is security. Hackers can directly steal data from the brain or can even control the person once able to hack the system. The chip is capable of controlling the emotions of the host so it might lead to total control over an individual once the chip is hacked.
More than one Neuralink can be incorporated in the brain. Through a live demo using pigs, the company showed how the behaviour of the pigs without a neuralink, with a neuralink, more than one neuralink and one who had a link implanted and then removed, all behaves in the same manner without any change in their usual behavioural pattern.
So that was a detailed description on What is Neuralink brain chip? and how does it work? If you want to know more about Neuralink you can checkout their website: : https://neuralink.com