Everything you need to know about Elon musk Neuralink in 2020 | Brain-to-computer interface system.
Technology through which a person can gain superhuman vision, control machines using their thoughts, play a movie in your mind, and also download the brain into a computer.
I know that these things might seem to be directly from some science-fiction movies like Iron man, Matrix, and Robocop. Whereas, due to the recent advancement in technology and AI, it might be a reality in the near future.
One of the well-known company called Neuralink started by Elon Musk and his team set a path in creating a neural chip that can be used as a brain-to-computer interface. It is still in the development phase, if it is completed it could just change humanity and the way we operate machines.
So, lets check out more on what is Neuralink all about, How it works, its pros and cons.
Stephan Hawking stated that the emergence of artificial intelligence could be the “worst event in the history of our civilization.” AI could either be the best or the worst thing that happens to humanity.
With the rapid development in artificial intelligence, it might not be long by when machines would overpower human intelligence. Computers would gain a complete higher level of intelligence soon and can also treat humans as a lower category. Hence, Elon Musk and his team framed the idea of creating a technology that can make humans operate machines through their brain.
Musk also mentioned, at a certain point in the future, Artificial intelligence will reach a level that surpasses human intelligence, skills, and also capabilities, therefore we should be ready to face that.
Must Read : Concerns of AI in the future
Musk’s goal towards Neuralink is to achieve a human-computer interface where a chip is implanted in the brain by which a person can control nearby devices using their thoughts.
Although, Neuralink has a long way to go for a complete human-computer hybrid. To make it possible there are many hurdles to cross over. If this technology becomes a reality, it could bring a huge difference in the whole Human race.
Now, lets see what is neuralink and how does it work?
What is Neuralink?
Neuralink is a tech company initiated by Elon Musk and his team to create a Neural processor (Neural chip) that can help humans to interact with the machines using their brain.
The Objective of Neuralink is to create a Brain-to-computer interface by implanting a chip in your brain (The process can be similar to that of laser surgery)
The design of the chip has undergone a lot of significant changes over years. First, they had a tiny chip with multiple wires that can be connected to the brain to read brain activity but the latest design and size of the chip is incredible. It resembles the size of a coin with an 8mm diameter with no wires.
This chip consists of Electrodes that are 1/20th times the thickness of a human hair.
How does Neuralink work?
Neuralink showcased a product that can be implanted into the brain to receive electric signals and it is named as “the link”.
First, a tiny piece of the skull is removed and the link is fitted in that gap which has contact with the brain. Since this process has to be done with complete precision we cannot afford to make any error, so the company also developed a robot to do this job specifically.
With the help of this robot, the Neuralink surgery can be completed in less than an hour while the user is under partial anesthesia.
This process will leave a tiny scar in your head and that chip would include all the necessary sensors that can be found in a smartwatch.
Once, the installation is complete, the device can send and receive electrical signals through your brain that can be further used to control machines. It can also be used to control computers and other smart devices.
But, the question arrives that how can you control it with your brain?
So, let’s understand some basic concepts of how the brain communicates. We know that our brain is connected to all parts of our body and it consists of innumerable neurons that are connected to each other. These interconnected neurons form a network, which is also known as Neurotransmission or Neurotransmitter and it is used for communication with other organs in our body (Chemical signals are used here for communicating).
This reaction generates an Electric field in the brain. So, if we place electrodes nearby to those neurons, we can record those signals. Further, the electrodes convert these signals into an algorithm that can be understood using computers.
This is the exact concept of how neuralink works. It records the electrical signals from the brain, converts into visual representation (waves) to understand the changes in the brain. These signals can be used for controlling the devices.
This process of operating machines using our thoughts might be the next generation of communication. Touch and voice inputs will just vanish away.
Neuralink has many significant advantages that can bring human intelligence and skills to a whole new level. whereas we should also understand that every coin has two faces, so there are various problems that might be caused for using this technology.
Advantages of Neuralink
- Some of the most anticipated pros of the neuralink are curing paralysis, treating mental illness, to stream music straight into your head, and extending the range of sight and hearing.
- You might also be able to download skills and other files directly into your brain.
- It is completely ready yet to be able for performing such advanced operations. Although, by looking at the growth and development over time, we can make out that it is not very long when we can control our mobile phones, computers just by thinking.
- Neuralink recently showcased their experiment of ‘the link’ in three pigs. This experiment shows that living beings will perform normally after installing the chip into their brain. The device can also be removed and no harm would be caused.
Check out the complete video here:
Some interesting things you probably didn’t know about Neuralink
- Long term goals can bring a huge difference in our daily life. It can be used to perform many more things rather than just operating our devices. You can seamlessly be connected to a computer or create a virtual world, download stuff into your brain, gain multitasking capabilities.
Neuralink might be able to cure most of the dangerous diseases such as
- Memory loss
- Brain damage and addiction
- Hearing loss
- We could have telepathic Powers with this technology like you see science-fiction movies.
- Communication would no longer require devices like smartphones or computers. We can communicate with each other just by our thoughts. (Consensual telepathy)
- It could make human smarter than future robots.
- Human accuracy might become 100% using neuralink.
Despite all these amazing advantages and applications of neuralink, we should never forget, “
The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.”
Lets discuss some of the dangers neuralink might cause.
Disadvantages of Neuralink
- Despite how strong and powerful the chip might be, it is still a piece of electronics/ technology. It might always have a probability of malfunctioning.
- When the neuralink is completed, and people start using it, the cases of advanced hacking might increase and produce new threats like Mind hacking, Mind high jacking. In simple words, anonymous people can read your mind and also be able to alter it according to their will.
- Privacy, Security will be the biggest concern.
- Ethical concerns and questions will arise around people whether they should opt for neuralink or not.
Some questions would be like
1. Could personality be changed through it?
2. Fear of madness and mental illness?
3. psychological issues?
4. Who will own the data and have access permission?
5. What happens to the data when the user dies?
Many similar questions need to be answered to the people before implanting the neuralink into their brains.
Challenges that neuralink must overcome
- Materials used to build the device must be safe and should not affect the brain in any cause.
- Tiny high-speed memory to read and write the data.
- Ethical and moral issues that we have discussed before.
- Advanced research
- Cost of the chip
- Replay, pause and save data from memory is also a big challenge
The employment ratio is reducing rapidly for humans as technology like AI, robots, computers are evolving so fast. AI is improved to such an extent that it is just a matter of years by when the computers would surpass human intelligence. Hence, from my perspective, the approach in creating a neuralink is very much necessary and can bring a significant difference to the human race.
If we can create a brain-computer interface in the future, it could make humans more precise and smarter to compete with the robots. By the way, we could also avoid cases like a terminator.
Check out the images below to know more about the specifications of the current Neuralink showcased by Elon musk.
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