Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk's startup Neuralink brain chip could help treat morbid obesity; that's what Musk believes. Echoing Musk's statement, scientists say it's not an impossibility.
Responding to a Twitter post on the same line, Musk said that it is possible, and his company is working on challenges like reversing paralysis.
Certainly physically possible.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 24, 2022
We’re working on bridging broken links between brain & body.
Neuralinks in motor & sensory cortex bridging past weak/broken links in neck/spine to Neuralinks in spinal cord should theoretically be able to restore full body functionality.
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Musk also described the challenges of developing the Neuralink device, and called for people with specific skills to join his company.
It is an electronics/mechanical/software engineering problem for the Neuralink device that is similar in complexity level to smart watches (which are not easy!), plus the surgical robot, which is comparable to state-of-the art CNC machines.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 24, 2022
No need for AI/ NN/ML quite yet.
If you’ve engineered or manufactured smart watches or phones, please join Neuralink! Your skills are directly applicable.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 24, 2022
Neuralink is developing a microchip that's implanted into a person's skull. Tiny wires equipped with electrodes fan out from the device into the brain, allowing it to read and stimulate brain functionality. Musk also believes Neuralink could treat certain neurological disorders.
Current generation Neuralinks can help to some degree, but an advanced case of Alzheimers often involves macro degeneration of the brain.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 24, 2022
However, Neuralinks should theoretically be able restore almost any functionality lost due *localized* brain damage from stroke or injury.
In February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service began investigating allegations of cruel treatment of macaque monkeys that are being used to test Neuralink's technology. The investigation was initiated after a complaint filed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Last year, Musk released a video showing a macaque monkey playing a video game, only by using thoughts, with the use of a neural implant.
Neuralink has said that it hopes to begin human trials later this year.
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Photo courtesy of NASA / Flickr Creative Commons
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