Entering the Future

Entering the Future

In recent years, Elon Musk has become increasingly popular amongst budding scientists all around the world. The multi-billionaire is respected and idealised by young science enthusiasts due to his ability to convert ambitious ideas into reality. Musk has undertaken some mind-blowing projects over the years: the driverless car with Tesla, the eventual colonization of Mars with SpaceX, and the widespread instalment of solar panels with SolarCity. However, his latest project may be the most fascinating and progressive one yet.

Imagine an invention that fixed your paralysis or blindness instantly. Introducing Neuralink, a coin-shaped chip implanted in one’s skull which allows one to control machines with one’s brain. The chip is connected with wires, which houses electrodes. The procedure for inserting the chip is so technical and complex that it is beyond the capabilities of humans. Therefore, robotic machines have been specially developed to perform this procedure safely, without touching any veins or arteries. Musk plans to use this as a solution for any brain-related disabilities.

To understand how Neuralink reads the brain, we must know the function of a neuron. Neurons send and receive information to and from the brain. This information is transmitted by neurotransmitters from one neuron to the next. The neurons connect to send and receive signals through connections called synapses. The electrodes from the chip are placed near neurons and decode information received from neurotransmitters.

To understand how Neuralink reads the brain, we must know the function of a neuron. Neurons send and receive information to and from the brain. This information is transmitted by neurotransmitters from one neuron to the next. The neurons connect to send and receive signals through connections called synapses. The electrodes from the chip are placed near neurons and decode information received from neurotransmitters.

To demonstrate the function of Neuralink, Musk experimented on a pig. A Neuralink chip was implanted in the pig’s skull, and the readings from the electrodes were shown. Whenever the pig touched hay with her snout, the activity showed on a graph which tracked her neural activity. This data can be stored and using artificial intelligence, Neuralink can recognise when the pig is touching hay in future situations. The electrodes can then understand the electrical signal in your brain and translate them into an algorithm that a machine can read. The chip can be linked with any device, whether it is a phone, or a robotic arm using Bluetooth. You could now play a video game, or grab a soda can by just thinking about it.

Although this may be one of the greatest inventions of the 21’st century, the chip, like any other form of modern technology, could be hacked. The hacker would then have access to all of our thoughts, and could easily invade our privacy. This could cause several problems for us, which we could never even imagine as of now.

The project’s initial aim is only the healthcare industry. It can cure several disabilities such as epilepsy, blindness (if the optic nerve is damaged), memory loss, and paralysis. However, in the future, we may be able to use Neuralink to communicate with one another using only our thoughts or to listen to music directly in our brains. The possibilities for this project are endless, and this could be the first step into the future!

-Shaurya Chandna

Sources:

https://neuralink.com/

https://www.thequint.com/explainers/what-is-neuralink-and-how-does-it-work-explained

https://www.cnet.com/news/elon-musk-shows-neuralink-brain-implant-working-in-a-pig/#:~:text=Neuralink’s%20brain%2Dmachine%20interface%20technology,with%20computers%20outside%20your%20skull.&text=In%20line%20with%20Neuralink’s%20longer,generated%20signals%20of%20their%20own.

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