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NeuraLink and It’s Future Plans

Courtesy+of+NeuraLink
Courtesy of NeuraLink

A computer chip is implanted into the brain in order to control electronic devices without even touching them.  For many people, this idea seems like something from a science fiction novel and something that could never happen, but Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla, is working to bring this idea to reality.  Through a newly formed company, NeuraLink, Elon Musk is trying to bring these concepts to reality, and is also planning to solve many medical diseases with this computer chip. 

Though this company, NeuraLink, is a very new company the concept is not new and has been in the works for quite some time.  The company started on June 21, 2016, and was founded by Elon Musk and Max Hodak.  In April 2017, Elon Musk announced his plans for NeuraLink. Elon Musk wanted the first product of the computer chip to do something he called telepathy, which would allow people to control their phones and computers with a simple human thought.  The company also plans for the chip to control parts of the brain in order to help people get over neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and autism.  The company first experimented on monkeys and pigs during 2017 through 2020.  On January 29th 2024, NeuraLink was ready for its first human application. The trial required the volunteer patient to have a brain monitor and interface to be surgically implanted into their skull and hover above the brain.  The NeuraLink hardware was carefully placed near the brain’s motor areas.  On February 20th, Elon Musk reported that the patient made a full recovery with no side effects. He also acknowledged that the patient was able to control a computer mouse just by thinking alone.

The second application of NeuraLink plans to solve many health-related ailments and diseases, including neurological diseases.  It is estimated that deaths and disabilities brought by neurological disorders will be on the rise in the coming decades.  Some neurological disorders include dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and autism.  When interviewing Patrick Gan, CEO of Star World Home Health about the potential impact on the medical field of NeuraLink addressing neurological disorders, he explained that any advancement in treating neurological disorders would potentially reshape the medical field.  He states that, “currently, neurological disorders are the second leading cause of death and disabilities in parts of the world.”  Solving neurological disorders will extend the lifespan of the average human and improve quality of life.  “It will be the difference between a person being completely incapacitated and a person being very productive.”  He states, “solving neurological disorders will be a game changer.”

Courtesy of NeuraLink

Another field that NeuraLink potentially changes and disrupts is the education field.  Since the computer chip is directly linked to the brain, information can be directly transferred into the brain, bypassing typical reading conventions like reading and understanding what you read.  Fundamentally, this is like people just downloading information into a student’s brain.  This approach can make learning way faster, which could possibly mean that classes won’t even have to spend multiple weeks learning one concept.  Furthermore, absent students don’t have to spend time learning something they missed in class. All it takes is install or download information into a student’s brain.  NeuraLink also has the possibility of making students retain subjects more easily, meaning teachers do not have to spend a lot of time reviewing topics.  Schools and how information is learned and consumed will change and become more efficient.

NeuraLink can change and disrupt a number of industries.  If NeuraLink can show progress and effectiveness, we can see fundamental shifts in our everyday lives.  NeuraLink has the potential to change life, as we know it, for the better.  At the very least, NeuraLink will be an interesting scientific case study.  

 

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