So far, experiments were performed only on rats. The technology is planned to begin testing in public in the second quarter of 2020.
Startup Elon Musk Neuralink, who since 2017 has been developing neural interfaces and direct connection of the human brain to a computer, for the first time presented the results of two years of work – a technology based on “threads”, which will allow safer to implant chips into the human brain and read information faster.
The main goal of the company is to implant implants to paralyzed people so that they can use telephones and computers. At the presentation, Musk noted that in the future, a startup plans to “achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence.”
For this, a startup has developed flexible “threads” the size of a quarter of a human hair, which are implanted with needles. “Threads” allow you to quickly read information and send it to the sensor mounted on the skull than the previous analogues.
The company has developed a neurosurgical robot that is automatically capable of implanting six “threads” containing 192 electrodes per minute. It avoids blood vessels, which helps reduce inflammatory reactions in the brain during surgery. The robot simultaneously looks like a microscope and a sewing machine.
Neuralink also introduced a chip that reads signals from the brain faster. Now the chip can transmit information using USB-C, but in the future, scientists plan to create a system that would work over a wireless network.
So far the company has conducted experiments only on laboratory rats, which were implanted 1500 electrodes. Information received from a rat with a USB-C-port on the head was transmitted 10 times faster than current sensors, noted in Bloomberg. Now the technology of implanting “threads” requires drilling holes in the skull, but in the future, scientists hope to use lasers to avoid this. Neuroscientists at Stanford will begin testing technology in humans in the second quarter of 2020.
In an interview with the New York Times, Neuralink scientists noted that the company “has a long way to go” before they can provide technology for commercial services.