Neuralink corporation is an american company that was established in July 2016 by Elon Musk and some other partners including Ben Rapoport, Dongjin Seo, Max Hodak, Paul Merolla,
Philip Sabes, Tim Gardner, Tim Hanson, and Vanessa Tolosa .
Curious to know more about how Neuralink works and what can it do? Keep Watching!
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Two years upon its foundation, Neuralink had received approximately 158 million dollars of which 100 million dollars was from Elon Musk and the other 58 million dollars is from the other partners and research foundations. The number of employees of Neuralink became around 100 in August 2020, however,The company is a fast paced and growing organization that’s continually improving its technologies in the neuroscience field. The main objective of this video is to answer two questions regarding Neuralink business. The first question is, how does it work? And the second one is, what can it do?
Finding ways to stimulate the brain in paralysed humans in order to allow them to control computers; is the main aim of Neuralink where they are developing ultrafine threads that can be woven into the brains of patients to detect the neuro signals. According to Musk, the system has been tested on a monkey that was able to control a computer with its brain and now Neuralink has applied to US regulators to start trailing this device on humans because their plans in the present focus on patients with severe neurological conditions. So how does it really work?
Well, Neuralink has developed an extremely small device called the N1 chip that is a 4mm square chip and consists of a tiny probe containing more than 3,000 electrodes which are attached to flexible threads that can easily monitor the activity of up to 1,000 neurons. Each one of these threads is thinner than a human hair. This newly developed system has numerous advantages, one of which is that it would be able to target very specific areas of the brain without compromising the integrity of the other areas, which would make it surgically safer. Moreover and by using machine learning, the system would be able to analyse recordings and that would help work out what type of stimulation to give a patient. However, Neuralink did not reveal the mechanism by which the system translated brain activity or even the way the device stimulates brain cells. After all, it’s a new technology that will take a long time to fulfill its purpose, so it will not take over people’s brains all of the sudden. However, according to Neuralink, the system would ultimately allow for symbiosis via artificial intelligence; that is it would generate the required interaction between the brain and AI.
At first, the N1 chips will be implanted in the patients skulls via traditional neurosurgery, however, they aim at inserting the chips safely and virtually painlessly through very small incisions by a robot surgeon. Unfortunately, in order to monitor neurosignals, the N1 chip needs to be close to each nerve at a distance less than 60 microns and beyond that distance, the chip would not be able to detect individual impulses and will monitor noise due to the overlapping between signals coming from different nerves. Despite the fact that Neuralink did not reveal the way N1 chips work, it’s worth noting that Brain-Machine interfaces work within a typical procedure. These interfaces use electrodes in order to translate the neuronal information readings, known as action potentials, into commands that are capable of controlling external systems such as a computer or even a robotic arm. In addition to that, the N1 chips are specially designed for the neurological disorders resulting from the inability of the brain to connect with nerves around the body; such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, they can be developed and upgraded to treat some injuries to the spinal nerves including Paraplegia and Quadriplegia.
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