During a live-streamed demonstration involving farm animals and a stage, Musk said that his company Neuralink had built a self-contained neural implant that can wirelessly transmit detailed brain activity without the aid of external hardware.
Musk demonstrated the device with live pigs, one of which had the implant in its brain.
Once this kind of brain wave data is obtained, the big question is how to decode and interpret it.
“Neural decoding is critically important,” says Ajiboye. “A number of laboratories around the world are spending lots of person-hours on decoding algorithms, using different statistical and deep learning approaches.
I haven’t seen that from Neuralink.” Neuralink’s implant contains all the necessary components, including a battery, processing chip, and bluetooth radio, along with about a thousand electrode contacts, all on board the device.
Neuralink’s device, if it proves capable of transmitting data safely over the long-term, would be a “major advance” says Bolu Ajiboye, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University.
Plus, Neuralink’s device is “pretty big” for the brain, says Ajiboye.
That device involves hardware protruding from the skull and contains about a hundred electrodes, compared to Neuralink’s 1000.
Elon Musk being in this field, but the key challenge imposed is hype versus reality.