Elon Musk’s Neuralink: The Game Changer or A Rushed Initiative?
Earlier this year, on the 28th of August, Elon Musk held an event to demonstrate his ambitious device, Neuralink. The updates on the prototypes of this unique initiative took the internet by storm. However, in this piece, we are about to dive deeper into the world of the Neuralink Corporation. And we will also layout details on what has been happening behind the scenes. According to sources, there has been a conflict in the corporation regarding the futuristic tech.
But what is Neuralink and what’s the hullabaloo all about?
A Brief Overview of Neuralink
Neuralink, a relatively tiny device, is a brain-machine interface, to be connected to the brain soft issues, via a set of thousands of tiny wires. The ‘installation’ process includes a tiny robotic sewing-machine attaching the microwires to the brain. These implants cause neither bleeding nor any noticeable trauma to the brain tissue. As a result, there is no need for anesthesia, and the patient subjected to the implant will be able to leave the facility within a few hours.
The purpose of Neuralink is to support treatment against various medical conditions. This device is projected to help in the following aspects:
• Severe brain injuries
• Certain cases of blindness
• Anxiety disorders
How does it do that? Neuralink is able to send and receives voltages to the brain, safely. In fact, Neuralink, as a concept, is not that fancy of an idea as it sounds. It is indeed a decades-old tech in the field of brain-machine interface. The idea of using computers to improve brain functions has even been implemented in the past, to various degrees of success. Neuralink is the next big step in the same direction, adding an overwhelming amount of precision and effectiveness.
The Conflict Plaguing Elon Musk
The conflict within the Neuralink Corporation was inevitable. The company operates hand in hand with the fast pace of tech development and also with the slow-cautious nature of medical science. This has been causing friction. The mechanical engineers of the company often differ with their academic neuroscientists over the strategical roadmap. In these cases, it’s been observed that Musk habitually sides with the engineers. The chaotic nature of the project led most of its founding scientists to leave: only 3 out of 8 remain.
For example, Musk pushed forward to implant 10,000 electrodes at a go into the brain of a sheep. According to the scientists, instead of taking smaller steps, like implementing a smaller number of electrodes, the company aimed to jump across the river. Consequently, it resulted in the project to sink.
Deadlines were rushed as well. Sometimes, scientists insisted that they need months for the research. In turn, they were offered weeks to complete the projects.
No employee, whether former or present, entertain the speculation that Neuralink is underperforming. Despite these conflicts and chaotic approach Neuralink corporation is praised heavily for its engineering accomplishments. Especially, the sewing machine robots earned appreciation from the specialists. Dr. Andrew Schwartz, a Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh, said “Overall, the concept is impressive and so is the progress that they have made.”
Musk usually operates with an accelerated timeline and a hefty dose of chaos. This is a strategy he used to transform the space & automobile industry successfully. Even if it is highly unlikely that the device will be ready for human trials anytime soon, Neuralink is making progress. And it is doing it fast.
Lastly, if Neuralink manages to become a reality at an affordable price point, it will change the world forever. It will explore the full potential of our mind to take humanity a step closer to telepathy, memory repositories, and superhuman interfacing with artificial intelligence. Most importantly, it will help millions to regain motion, sight, hearing, and memory. And Musk, along with the entire team behind Neuralink deserve some credit for venturing into such an undertaking.
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