Featured Image Source: Neuralink
Neuralink, a neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk, is actively developing a brain-machine interface to ‘connect humans and computers.’ Last week during a presentation, Musk unveiled the new design of the Neuralink chip device, called ‘Link’. The small coin-size device could one day solve a variety of brain-related issues, including returning mobility to paralyzed individuals; restoring memory, eyesight, and hearing loss, even warning if an individual will have a stroke before it occurs.
Besides restoring health, Musk's vision for Neuralink is for humans to merge with Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Neuralink “would solve a lot of brain/spine injuries and is ultimately essential for AI symbiosis,” he said. In the future, Neuralink could also feature the capability to summon your Tesla car with a thought and play video games. Individuals with the Link implant could be able to “save and replay memories. […] This is obviously sounding increasingly like a black mirror episode, but well, I guess they’re pretty good at predicting,” Musk said. “You could potentially download [memories] into a robot body.”
The Link chip features 1,024 tiny electrode threads that are threaded by a surgical robot inside the brain to stimulate neurons. Neuralink demonstrated a working Link device implanted on a pig named Gertrude on August 28; the chip was actively recording signals from its sensory area in the brain that is linked to the nerves on her snout. Musk said the purpose of the presentation was to recruit employees that would like to help develop the system. – “We’re not trying to raise money or do anything else, but the main purpose is to convince great people to come work at Neuralink, and help us bring the product to fruition; make it affordable and reliable and such that anyone who wants one can have one,” he said.
Neuralink is based in Fremont, California, new job listings suggest that the neurotech company may expand to Austin, Texas – though not officially confirmed. “We are building a team of multidisciplinary experts passionate about making a world-changing impact,” the job application states. “Neuralink is seeking engineers to write software that communicates in real-time with the brain.”
There are four job listings on the company’s website seeking individuals living in Texas. The job positions posted are: Electrical Engineer for Implant Systems, Senior Software Engineer Full Stack, Software Engineer BMI Applications, and Controller/Senior Accountant.
The company also has eighteen open job positions in Fremont, California. Musk previously said that individuals applying to work at Neuralink do not have to have a neurology background – “You don’t need to have brain experience,” he stated.
Neuralink received a Breakthrough Device designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July, and is “preparing for first human implantation soon, pending required approvals and further safety testing.” The first clinical trial will implant the Link device on paralyzed individuals resulting from cervical spinal cord injury.
Good summary— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 29, 2020