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Neuralink is  to implant the second brain chip next week

Neuralink is  to implant the second brain chip next week

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Neuralink, Elon Musk’s neurotechnology startup, will implant its second human patient with a brain-computer interface device next week. The company’s top executives provided this update while briefing on X yesterday. So far, only one person has received the brain chip: Noland Arbaugh from Arizona, who was rendered paralyzed from the shoulders downwards following an accident in 2016.

This represents a high watermark in Neuralink’s ambitious plans to revolutionize the field of BCI. According to Musk, the company is working on increasing the number of implanted patients to high single digits by the end of this year. Musk made excited comments during the briefing to the effect that “We’re only just moving now to our second Neuralink patient… But we hope to have, if things go well, high single digits this year.”

Arbaugh’s implant—which was at one point having problems with tiny wires pulling out of position—is now “more or less very stable,” Musk said. The stability of the implant is important because Neuralink is gearing up for the next phase of its human trials. In this regard, according to Neuralink executive Dongjin “D.J.” Seo, after surgery, some time has to elapse for tissues to lock down the threads in place, and thereafter the implant becomes stable.

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Neuralink, beyond perfecting the implant process, had taken other risk mitigation measures: skull sculpting and normalizing carbon dioxide levels in the blood. All the precautions spell out how changes were done to make it safer and more efficient for installation of the Brain Computer Interface.

Musk further reiterated that the long-term objective of Neuralink is to reduce the civilization risks associated with artificial intelligence by creating a true symbiosis between human and digital intelligence. This is an illustration of the further-reaching implications of Neuralink’s technology beyond the foreseeable medical applications.

The technology developed by Neuralink involves a brain implant that allows such individuals to communicate with digital devices by their brain signals. The device captures neural signals via tiny wires and translates them into actions like moving a cursor across a computer screen. In demonstration videos shared by Neuralink, Arbaugh seems to have been able to play video games and browse the internet, move the cursor on his laptop. all without an iota of movement.

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It’s an enterprise that is bound not only to bring a sea change into the lives of those suffering from neurological disorders but also be the very pathbreaker of interleaved progress in human and artificial intelligence. Now Neuralink, as all eyes turn towards it in its gearing up for the second implantation.

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