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Neuralink: Elon Musk unveils brain-computer implanted pigs

By Tanisha Jindal



Elon Musk, a billionaire entrepreneur, during a live-stream event conducted to recruit workers for his neuroscience startup, presented a group of pigs that had a coin-sized computer chip in their brains for two months. By showing them, he aimed to demonstrate an early step towards the goal of curing human diseases with the same type of implant.


In the live stream, he bought three pigs who had varying levels of interest in cooperating. One pig namely Gertrude among them showed real-time neural signals to the audience. The pigs were gone through a surgical procedure in which the latest version of Neuralink's computing implant was placed by a robot in their brains.


Musk said that the process of “getting a link” will not require general anaesthesia and hoped that a robot will do the entire surgery in about an hour. The person who will get the Neuralink device will be left with a tiny scar after the electrodes are inserted in the brain if done well. However, there won't be any blood. He also informed it will be important for a person who has undergone surgery to make the inserted device remove and get it upgraded over time. Elon Musk described the whole process as “like a Fitbit in your skull”. He also added, “The neurons are like wiring, and you sort of need an electronic thing to solve an electronic problem.”


Neuralink is a startup launched in 2016, which said it was developing tiny flexible "threads" that are thinner than a human hair to deal with brain injuries and trauma, along with someday encouraging symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence.


Several Neuralink employees also joined Musk on stage to discuss desires to get rid of all the pain to supervise people and check the nature of consciousness. “I think in the future you will be able to save and replay memories” Musk asserted. According to him, installing a chip to replace a small portion of the human skill can help in restoring limb function, improving human movement, resolving issues with eyesight and hearing, and can help with diseases like Parkinson's as well. Neuralink is currently focussing on different conditions including memory loss, blindness, and paralysis.


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