Neuralink’s 2022 Show & Tell is about to begin. The event is supposed to update the public on Neuralink’s progress and attract talent to the company.
Teslarati will be closely following the event. Please refresh this page for the latest coverage.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently posted about the event and hinted at an exciting update on Neuralink.
In the intro video of Neuralink’s Show and Tell event, Pager the monkey seems to be learning to type words with his mind.
Elon Musk enters the stage and welcomes everyone to the event. Wasting no time at all, Musk dives into Neuralink’s Show and Tell, starting with the company’s goals. Neuralink’s goal is to make a generalized I/O interface for the brain that could help people with debilitating conditions.
Musk hints that some of the topics covered during the event will reach an esoteric level. He reaffirms that Neuralink is confident that its device will help people suffering with brain injuries along the way to bridging the gap between computers and the human brain.
“We are confident that this point we will succeed at solving many brain injury issues spine injury issues along the way,” he said.
Musk shows a video of Pager playing “Monkey Mind Pong.” The video was released about 18 months ago. The Tesla CEO emphasizes that Neuralink’s device is not outwardly obvious to others.
Pager initially learned to play Pong with a joystick. Neuralink later took the joystick away and had Pager play Pong with his mind though Neuralink’s device.
Musk reminds the audience that going from prototype to production is difficult and has many challenges. Neuralink has been working hard to start human trials. The company has submitted all the papers needed to start human trials to the FDA. Musk estimates that the first Neuralink device could be inside the human brain in 5-6 months.
Elon Musk emphasizes that Neuralink treats its animal subjects with respect. The company does extensive benchmark tests before implanting a Neuralink device into an animal.
Another Neuralink monkey, Sake, is typing with his brain. Sake spelled out the Neuralink event’s welcome tag: “Welcome to show and tell.”
Both Sake and Pager have successfully implanted with Neuralink’s upgraded device.
“Upgradeability is very important because our first production device will be much like an iPhone 1 and pretty sure you would not want an iPhone 1 stuck in your head if the iPhone 14 is available,” Elon Musk.
Elon Musk says that Neuralink can restore vision, even on someone who was born blind. The company is also confident that the Neuralink device can restore full functionality to a severed spinal cord.
“If you have expertise in creating advanced devices, like watches and computers, then your abilities will be of great use in solving these problems,” Musk said.
Neuralink Implant and Surgical Robot
Elon Musk passes the baton to DJ, who has been at Neuralink since the beginning. DJ talks about creating a high bandwidth generalized interface to the brain. He talks about safety, scalability and access to brain regions, the three pillars to get high bandwidth generalized interface to the brain.
DJ talks about the Neuralink implant (the N1) with thin threads N1 implant is about the size of a quarter. It has 1,024 channels that are capable of recording and stimulating.
He also talks about Neuralink’s surgical robot (the R1 Robot) that will help implant the company’s device into the brain. Neuralink does a live demo of the R1 robot at work with dummy patient Alpha.
Neuralink has a double operating room (OR) in Austin. The company plans to establish its own clinic in the future.
“Neuralink’s been working closely with the FDA to get approval to launch its first clinical human trial in the US hopefully in the next 6 months,” noted DJ.
Neuralink has been working on improving cursor speed and accuracy since 2021. The speed and accuracy has improved, but Neuralink is still working on improving it. The company is also working on a mouse and keyboard interfaces to work with Neuralink N1.
Neuralink is training monkeys to write so it can get rid of digital keyboards and increase the typing rate when patients use the N1 implant to write with their minds.
Neuralink N1 Charging
Neuralink has improved the battery of the N1 since its last event. The new charger is uses an Aluminum battery base with 6.78 MHz drive circuit for double the battery life.. Neuralink charges the N1 implant wirelessly.
Neuralink is working on a third generation charger with a bidirectional near field communication.
Neuralink N1 Development
N1 contains a small micro processor. Neuralink conducts hill tests on the N1. Testing became a bottleneck so the team created a new system, allowing it to rapidly test new hardware in the N1 implant, greatly accelerating its development.
Neuralink has developed its own system to rigorously test its implant designs.
R1 Robot Development
Nueralink’s R1 robot will help neurosurgeons implant the N1 chip. As the company continues to improve the R1 robot, it will perform more of the surgery. Neuralink developer, Christine, explained that the R1 robot could make the N1 implant surgery more affordable in the future.
Neuralink Next Generation Application
Dan explains the Neuralink’s potential capability to restore eyesight. Neuralink inserted the N1 into the visual cortex of two monkeys named Code and Dash. By observing Code and Dash, Neuralink can record the receptive fields of their visual fields.
“Our goal will be to turn the lights on for someone who spent decades living in the dark,” said Dan.
After Dan, Joey comes up to talk about Neuralink’s application for people with severed spinal cords. Neuralink has conducted tests showing that it can stimulate movement in animals through multiple implants: the N1 in the brain and implants in the spinal cord.
Elon Musk comes back on stage joined by the Neuralink team to answer questions.
Elon Musk states that Neuralink does plan to provide some of its research and technology to research universities and hospitals after receiving FDA approval.
Musk says that Neuralink would consider open-sourcing its data sets. The company could publish them on its website.
Neuralink is working on making the electrode of the N1 implant smaller to prevent scar tissue and inflammation response.
Elon Musk hints that the N1 chip might be able to detect health conditions or monitor people’s health status in the future.
Neuralink is focusing on improving the longevity of the N1 device’s threads at the moment. However, the company appears determined to continue improving the N1 implant with no end date in sight.
Neuralink monkeys adapt and learn to utilize the N1 chip fairly quickly.
“Right now we’re just guessing at a lot about what’s going on in the brain. But if you have direct I/O, there’s no more guessing. What we will learn about the brain with such a device–in wide use–is many orders of magnitude than we currently understand,” Musk said, ending the Neuralink event on that note.
Below is the link to the livestream.