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Shark Attack

Santiago High School's Student News Site

Shark Attack

Santiago High School's Student News Site

Shark Attack

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Elon Musks Brain Chip: First Human Trial

Elon+Musks+Brain+Chip%3A+First+Human+Trial

Elon Musk, the entrepreneur, founded Neuralink with the intention of revolutionizing brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). The business has successfully implanted a “brain reading” device into a human for the first time. The company aims to enable a severely paralyzed person to operate a computer, robotic arm, wheelchair, or other devices solely with their thoughts.

What is Neuralink’s Device?

Approximately 86 billion neurons, or nerve cells joined by synapses, are found in the human brain. A little electrical impulse is produced and sent extremely fast from one neuron to another whenever we wish to move, feel, or think. Researchers have created tools that can identify some of those signals; these tools can be inserted into the brain by wires or a non-invasive cap head cap. The coin-sized Neuralink device is implanted into the skull and contains microscopic wires that sense neuron activity and transmit a wireless signal to a receiving device. Based on experiments conducted on pigs, the business asserts that monkeys can play a basic version of Pong. 

Human Trials:  

The company received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for human trials in May 2023. Although it is now known that the first patient has received their implant, there are still a few unknown details. Musk stated that the patient is “recovering well” and that “promising neuron spike detection” is seen in the initial findings. 

What do Scientists think about Musk’s Brain Chip?  

This device creates some ethical issues that scientists are concerned about, such as a lack of transparency surrounding the implant. Neuralink has been developing implants connecting the human brain to a computer for five years. However, the company came under fire in 2022 when a monkey was trying to play PPong and passed away. Workers informed Reuters in December 2022 that the business was racing to market, which led to thoughtless animal fatalities and a government investigation. These ethical issues raise concern for some researchers regarding the purpose of the company’s brain chip. 

Can Musk’s brain technology change the world? 

Does he have a point when he suggests that his technology might ultimately save humanity? To begin, electrodes inserted into brain tissues are a common idea. “Solving” brain and spinal injuries are just the beginning for Neuralink, according to Elon Musk. He characterizes “human/ AI symbiosis” as the ultimate objective, calling it “species-level important.” The true challenge will be creating a system with significantly higher accuracy in interpreting or translating brain cells. When and if that occurs, people might be able to interact with computers and other electronic devices in ways that are hard to understand now. Consider having the ability to instantly translate one language to another, order a takeaway, or search the internet with just your thoughts.   

Musk has previously discussed the possibility that his invention may enable communication “faster than a speed typist or auctioneer” between people and phones or computers. He has even suggested that memories could be saved and played back in the past, but he acknowledged that “this is sounding increasingly like a Black Mirror episode.” 

What is the Ultimate Goal of Musk’s Brain Technology? 

Musk has stated that better-safeguarding humanity from the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI), which he has previously referred to as an “existential threat,” should be the ultimate goal rather than rushing your takeout order. He contends that we as a species are less likely to be “left behind” if human and computer minds are better combined: “With a high bandwidth, brain-machine interface, we can go along for the ride.” 

 

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About the Contributor
Hannah Heintz, Staff Writer
Hannah Heintz (11) is a Junior at Santiago High School where her favorite subjects are Journalism and Lang Arts. When she was in middle school, she became interested in writing when she started to read many novels. Outside of Journalism, she enjoys reading, playing tennis, and going to her family's lake cabin every summer. In the future, she aspires to become a lawyer. You can reach her at [email protected].
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