Always controversial. For some he is a visionary, for others a mad dreamer. It’s about tech mogul Elon Musk. He demonstrated for the first time how the technology of his new brain devices works. They are developed by his company Neuralink. Pigs with Neuralink implants were part of the exhibition.
It was broadcast live during an event at the company headquarters. Musk introduced pigs with brain chips implanted. It provided unpublished details about the novel technology. During the demo, Musk showed the audience an animal named Gertrude. The device was implanted in his brain. The chip generated a response when the animal was stimulated in any way, by smelling or touching something, or by eating. Each reaction became a dot on a screen and played a tone.
Musk also wanted to demonstrate the security of the chip. To do this, he exhibited a pig that had it implanted in its brain and then removed the device. The animal appeared to be healthy. And hopefully too. It would show that the device does not cause complications or consequences.
Animal experiments are not without controversy. Neuralink has been the target of criticism from animal rights activists. They assure that they are supervised by experts and that tests on primates are limited.
At the event, Musk also showed off a robot. He is the one who will have to perform the operations to insert the apparatus into the human brain in the future. Musk clearly has a particular fondness for robots and assigns them this task. The surgery is expected to take about an hour without the need for general anesthesia. According to the magnate, the patient can return home the same day … with the chip in the brain. Did someone say zombies?
While it could be for entertainment purposes, there are other, more noble purposes for these chips. The device is the size of a coin. It could be used to help people with brain injuries and other disorders. For example, according to Musk, the device could also stream music straight into a person’s head. If you ask me, I prefer headphones, old school. There is still a lot of fabric to cut, however. The transition from pigs with Neuralink implants to receiving music in the brain without intermediaries will take time (fortunately for some).