How to explain Neuralink's mindchip to a school-going child: Simplified - Hindustan Times

How to explain Elon Musk's Neuralink mindchip to a school-going child: Simplified

May 26, 2023 06:05 PM IST

Elon Musk's Neuralink is like a tiny computer chip that can be implanted in the human brain. It has got FDA approval for human trial.

Imagine a world where our thoughts can control machines, where humans and technology seamlessly merge to unlock incredible possibilities. This is precisely what Elon Musk, the visionary behind companies like Tesla and SpaceX, aims to achieve with his groundbreaking venture called Neuralink. So, let's dive into the fascinating realm of Neuralink and discover in detail what Elon Musk wants to do with the incredible brain chip technology. (ALSO READ: Elon Musk's Neuralink claims to get nod to test brain implants in people)

Elon Musk's Neuralink want to put a tiny chip in your brain.
Elon Musk's Neuralink want to put a tiny chip in your brain.

What is Neuralink ?

Neuralink is like a tiny computer chip that can be implanted in the human brain. Just like our brains use electrical signals to control our bodies, Neuralink's brain chip acts as a bridge between our thoughts and the digital world.

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Why does Elon Musk want to connect our brains to computers?

But, why would Elon Musk want to do this? Well, he believes that by connecting our brains to computers, we can expand our minds and overcome limitations. It's like taking our intelligence to a whole new level. Imagine being able to learn things faster, have instant access to information, and communicate with others using only your thoughts. With Neuralink, Elon Musk envisions a future where we can unlock the full potential of our brains and create a symbiotic relationship between humans and technology. (ALSO READ: As more 'human' ChatGPT announced, Musk says ‘we better get a move on with…’)

"The long-term aspiration with Neuralink would be to achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence," Musk said in a 2018 interview with Axios, adding that as the algorithms and the hardware improve, that digital intelligence will exceed biological intelligence by a substantial margin.

How does the brain chip connect our thoughts and the digital world?

Well, it's like this: they put a tiny chip in your brain through a simple procedure. This chip has small parts called electrodes that can sense the electrical signals made by your brain cells. These signals are like messages that the brain sends to communicate. The chip then reads these messages and sends them to a computer. The computer can use the messages to control things outside your body or even let you talk to other people whose brains are also connected to Neuralink. It's like your brain and the computer are talking to each other!

Making the vision a reality: from animal trials to human clinical trials

While this may sound like science fiction, Neuralink has already made significant progress. The technology has been tested on animals, and recently, it received U.S. Food and Drug Administratio (FDA) approval for human clinical trials. This means that scientists and doctors will be able to study the potential benefits of Neuralink in real people.

The hope is that Neuralink could help treat conditions like paralysis, Alzheimer's disease, and even enable people with disabilities to regain lost functionalities.

“First Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs,” Musk tweeted in 2021.

And here are some ethical concerns related to Neuralink you should know!

As with any technological advancement, there are also important ethical considerations. Elon Musk and his team has to ensured the need for caution and stress on the importance of ensuring privacy, security, and ethical use of the technology.

The recent FDA approval for its first human clinical trial is followed by extensive previous struggles. The FDA raised concerns about the safety of the lithium battery, potential wire migration within the brain, and proper device extraction without brain tissue damage.

The company has also faced scrutiny for its animal testing practices, prompting calls for investigations into the testing panel's role in rushed and flawed experiments. The Department of Transportation is separately investigating whether Neuralink violated regulations regarding the transportation of dangerous pathogens without adequate containment measures. These challenges highlight the importance of addressing safety, ethics, and regulatory compliance in Neuralink's development process.

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