Neuralink’s Elon Musk hinted toward some of the possible developments of the company’s August 28th event, which will give updates on the progress engineers have made toward developing State-of-the-Art neurological technologies.
Of these updates, Musk stated that the August 28th event would show a real-time demonstration of neurons in the human brain firing. One of the core developments in Neuralink’s plans is to begin working toward the idea that human movement can be recovered by using some of the company’s technology.
To restore some human functionalities, neurons in a damaged brain must be recovered and given the ability to move and function normally again. Neurons are nerve cells that are responsible for communicating with other cells through synapses.
To work correctly, neurons must fire at different times, depending on the activity that is being performed. However, those with handicaps or neurological diseases lose functionality of these neurons. Neuralink’s technology aims to restore the use and integrity of neurons through an implantable chip in the human skull.
During an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Musk talked about Neuralink in detail. The Silicon Valley entrepreneur stated that with Neuralink technology, the human brain could overcome issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, and other illnesses. Additionally, lost limb function, problems with eyesight and hearing, and lost human movement could all be solved by installing a Neuralink chip in the skull.
Neuralink has tested this technology in the past. In July 2019, the company held a live-streamed event in California where a series of “flexible threads” were inserted into the brain and transferred high volumes of data with over 3,000 available electrodes. The tests have been performed on animals with an 87% success rate thus far.
Additionally, Musk indicated that Neuralink could eventually dive into spinal cord injuries by developing technology that would be responsible for fixing some of the harshest injuries that a human can endure.
Musk said that it should be possible to create a neural shunt from the motor cortex of the brain that controls the planning and control of voluntary movements to microcontrollers that are located within human muscle groups. The development of this technology could ultimately resolve paraplegic and quadriplegic patients who have lost motor skills within their limbs.
Ultimately, Neuralink’s possible uses are possibly endless. Musk believes that the implementation of a chip could help with hearing disabilities and deaf patients who are hard of hearing. Neuralink technology could help “extend the range of hearing beyond normal frequencies and amplitudes” as well.
It may be some time until we see Neuralink used on human beings because the company still has to go through ordinary Food and Drug Administration hoops. Until then, Neuralink engineers will continue to develop the technology. The August 28th event could prove to be a significant step forward in the case of neurological disorder treatment.