Where is Neuralink Based? The brain-machine interface company is run by Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX. Founded in 2015, Neuralink already has a hundred employees, and the company is expanding to Austin, Texas. Elon Musk recently announced the opening of a Tesla gigafactory in Austin. Interested individuals may apply for positions as software developers, mechanical and electrical engineers, neuroengineers, and operations specialists. The company’s CEO hopes to eventually hire 10,000 people.
The Neuralink device uses electrodes to read electrical signals from the brain, and then outputs movement or action as a result. Because the device is implanted directly in the brain, it cannot detect signals from outside the head. Hence, a surgeon needs to implant the device for testing. If successful, the device will allow humans to communicate with AI. But before this happens, the company is still testing on animals.
While Neuralink is currently working on a brain-computer interface, it’s primary focus is on therapeutic uses. Musk has long been concerned about the use of artificial intelligence in humans. While this company’s current devices may help people with paralysis, their future applications could include brain injuries, neurological conditions, and other medical conditions. The development of a wireless computer chip for brain implants may have broader applications, such as improving the ability of patients with neurological conditions. The company also hopes to develop surgical robotics for the implant.
The company plans to start animal testing in San Francisco soon, but a spokesperson for the company said these reports were “not accurate.” The company has posted a job listing looking for engineers with experience in wearable devices and smartphones. In addition to conducting experiments on animals, Neuralink claims to have performed 19 surgeries on animals this year and placed electrodes in 87% of cases. In some cases, doctors must drill holes in the skull to implant electrodes, but they hope to soon use a laser to pierce bone with a series of small holes. Neuralink hopes to use its device to help those suffering from epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.
Although Neuralink is a BCI company, it has made significant progress over the past two years. Its device, as well as its robotic surgeon, is undergoing human trials and could be ready for clinical trials within a few years. Currently, the company has a timeline of 2021 for human trials. The company is working toward FDA approval, which allows it to pursue a feasibility study under the investigational device exemption.
The technology used by Neuralink allows people suffering from encephalopathy to control devices with their brain. By decoding the intention of speech or movement, it provides electrical stimulation back to the cortex in the brain. The device may also help those with vision problems to see things in the form of images or touch feedback. Neuralink is similar to cochlear implants, which convert sound into electrical stimulation of nerve cells in the cochlea.
Although it seems farfetched now, the potential for human enhancement is enormous. Moreover, BCIs could lead to new treatments for neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries. In addition to this, patients could use a computer mouse to control a prosthetic limb. The benefits of BCIs are far more diverse and extensive than you might think. While Neuralink is an exciting development, it raises many questions about the regulatory structure of this technology. While governments are largely focused on Facebook Libra, they must also be prepared to regulate Neuralink and other similar technologies in the future.
The company’s non-peer-reviewed whitepaper published in 2019 shows two of its devices in action in rats. The researchers implanted a wireless transmitter into the brain and recorded electrophysiological activity while the rats moved freely. Using a custom spike-detection algorithm and online software, the researchers were able to determine action potentials within the data. The result? 87% of the rats were successfully implanted with electrodes.
The company’s announcement comes as an exciting time for neuroscience. The team has been working on creating better tools to communicate with the human brain. While many people are skeptical about the technology, they are eager to see the results. Neuralink is located in New York and will be expanding to other countries in the near future. They are focused on advancing the field of brainwave technology. And this could only increase the potential for human advancement.