The connection between technology and the brain keeps reaching new milestones. Many companies are developing connectivity between the two, experimenting on animals and humans. Today a giant step was taken in this quest. The first tweet was made using only the mind.
With thought alone
The protagonist of this event was Philip O’Keefe. He is a 62-year-old Australian. He suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He had access to a neural implant developed by the company Synchron. Thus, he posted a tweet only with his mind. For this, he used the account of Thomas Oxley, CEO of the company.
The post was made using a brain-computer interface (BCI). What does it consist of? It is an 8mm device that is inserted into the brain through a vein. It generates wireless connectivity to digital devices without the need for surgery.
The project is funded by the University of Melbourne, the U.S. Department of Defense and others. Synchron has FDA clearance to begin human clinical trials in that country. It’s a step up from Neuralink, owned by Elon Musk. They got a monkey to play Pong with its mind. However, they lack FDA approval to begin human trials. They hope to have it in 2022.
More human trials
“Neuralink is working very hard to ensure the safety of the implants. We are in close communication with the FDA. If things go well, we could do initial human trials later this year.” So promised Musk, though we may have to wait a bit.
The first tweet using only the mind stokes competition between organizations. Everyone wants a piece of that pie. Musk is especially interested in implanting artificial intelligence in the human brain He says it would potentially help cure neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.