Among the news that occupy the pages of national and international newspapers is the one concerning the installation of a chip in the brain of a human being capable of communicating with devices such as computers for patients suffering from serious neurological diseases who, otherwise , they would not be able to express their needs. The news, given in the last few hours by Elon Muskregard Neuralink, the American neurotechnology company that was founded in 2016 by the tycoon together with a team of seven scientists and engineers.
What Neuralink does
As the Fremont, California-based company itself explains, the main purpose is to create a generalized brain interface to restore autonomy to those with unmet medical needs today and unlock human potential tomorrow”. By creating brain-PC interfaces, scientists believe this technology can change people’s lives for the better. According to their mission, it is not expected (at least for now) that human beings will become “robotic” but the aim is to give “people with quadriplegia the ability to control their computers and mobile devices with their thoughts”.
How does it work
Neuralink experts explain that their brain-computer interface is completely implantable, aesthetically invisible and designed to allow you to control a computer or mobile device wherever you go. The chip’s case is biocompatible: called the “N1 implant”, it is hermetically sealed in a “cwhich resists physiological conditions many times more severe than those of the human body”. This plant is powered by a kind of micro battery that works in mode wireless from the outside via a compact inductive charger. Thanks to technologically advanced, personalized and low-power chips, the neural signals are processed and transmitted wirelessly to the Neuralink application capable of decoding and recording them “neural activity through 1024 electrodes distributed over 64 wires. These highly flexible, ultra-thin wires are critical to minimizing damage during implantation and beyond,” Elon Musk’s company explains.
What is called “Surgical Robot” has such thin wires “which cannot be inserted by the human hand”. The robotic head is then equipped with the optics and sensors of five camera systems. “The needle, which is thinner than a human hair, grips, inserts and releases the threads.”.
What are the objectives
The future objectives are very ambitious: if now the first chip is mainly used to help those suffering from neurological pathologies and those who no longer have limbs, in the coming years Neuralink has the ambition to restore abilities such as vision, motor function and word but also of “expand the way we experience the world“. What does it mean? Probably that this technology could also be useful to those who don’t need it (as far as health is concerned) but that it can truly become an integral part of the human being with all the doubts and fears that most of Science harbors all ‘Now.