08 09

Neuralink is a brain implant the size of four-dollar coins with more than 1,000 electrodes that will (someday) allow a person to wirelessly send neuroelectrical activity to anything digital.

At the Neuralink presentation, Musk said that his prototype included sensors for motion, temperature, and pressure and 1,024 thin, flexible wires to pick up the electrical signals’ neurons put out while they’re neuron-ing.

In a living and seemingly normal pig that Neuralink handlers brought to the demo, the device was nestled invisible below the scalp and transmitted wireless, real-time signals, powered by an inductively charged battery that should last a full day.

“Having that work in a human brain for a long time without problems, without destroying a bunch of blood vessels and so on, is a really hard biological problem,” says Loren Frank, a neuroscientist at UCSF.

Besides, a Neuralink would be able to record and replay memories, even save them to an external drive and download them into a robot body.

“The storage of the memory involves huge numbers of chemical reactions at synapses between brain cells, and the techniques they have to write information in are primarily electrical stimulation, and that’s just awful,” Axons, the long projecting connections between neurons, have a lower activation threshold than the cells themselves.

So sending a signal pulse down one of those Neuralink electrodes activates that mesh of connections.

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