With Elon Musk showing off his new startup's brain chip called the" Link " recently, it is certain that a path has been paved to set explore the cyborg future.
It is cretinous to term this as a cyborg as this is nothing compared to what a cyborg is However these are considered baby steps towards a cyborg future .
For those who don't know a CYBORG is basically a human with in-human abilities . These abilities are achieved when machines are integrated with a human.
Neural link has come with a Chip Link , that the size of a coin and it can be implanted in your skull. This chip is primarily designed to implanted into people that have Brain Damage , Partial Paralysis and other Neural Disorders .
Lets take a deep dive to understand how the link works.
The construction of the link is paragon . It is 23mm x 8mm in size and it can fit into your skull . Link houses a 6 axis Inertial Motion Sensor to be able to help in orientation detection and other forces acting upon it. Additional to the coin shape device there are tiny hair like electrodes attached to it . These electrode are the part of the device that's protrudes into the brain . The link can be charged inductively just like wireless charging devices .
Installation of the chip in the brain
The chip is surgically inserted into the skull using a fully autonomous robot . An incision is made in the skull and a piece of the skull is removed and is replaced with the chip that fit into in just like a puzzle piece . Sounds crazy right ?! Since it's the robot that performs the surgery ,it is said to be precise. Also the surgery can be performed within 3 hour and the patient can be discharged from the hospital the same day if everything goes well .
Before I get into the working lets first understand how our basic brain works . Our brain is most complicated piece of anatomy that exist. Our brains consist about 85 billion neuron cells .These cells are primarily responsible for control and function of our entire body . The Neurons are interacted with other neurons to form a network of neurons that collectively work together . These neurons communicate with each other by emiting electrical signals to perform different tasks.
The Neural link chip is designed to function along with these neurons. The tiny hair like structure ( electrodes ) that I mentioned earlier is inserted into this colony of neurons . These electrodes then provide the desired electrical signals to interact with the neurons which then eventually results in an action.
However this chip can only detect various signals formed in the neuron as of now It cannot command any signals to it . In short the chip cannot command the brain to do a task. But being able to detect and decode signals is a massive the breakthrough.
Also if you want to learn about another breakthrough of Elon musk's company check this
Elon went ahead to showcase the world a live demo to help us understand the practicality of it. In the demonstration he used 3 pigs.
Pig 1 Had an implant and then got it removed . This example is to show the practicality of the how easy it will be to get it removed and how you can continue with your normal life totally unaffected .
Pig 2 Had an implant and the electrodes was connected with the neurons that were associated with the pigs snout. So every time it touched its snout to something the neuron fires electrical signals that were then picked up by the link .
Pig 3 Had two implant and it was made to walk on a thread mill and the signals picked up by the link was then used in the software to predict the movement of the limps of the pig as shown in the picture below
Use case in humans
People with spinal cord injury can benefit significantly from this project . As link can act as bridge in restoring and re-functioning of the damaged neurons.
However this project is at Infancy and hence we cannot predict the future as of now . It is also important to note that neural link received FDA approval for Clinical trials on humans so I guess it wont be long enough before we see our first cyborg .
The above is my original work and my own interpretations from anevent that was held live on youtube and you can check it out here . All respected owners of the images are given credit .
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Thank you for reading.
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