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Writing with thoughts available soon?

Neuralink, the company of Elon Musk, has been working intensively for two years on the project, which was presented at a special conference in July this year. Scientists have created a prototype of an implant that would be implanted into the human brain. Apparently, this type of experiment has already been carried out on rats and chimpanzees and everything went according to plan, that is … the possibility of connecting the brain and the computer was obtained. The whole process is quite complicated. Placing the electrodes in the skull is done by a robot specially designed for this purpose. Although the chip does not look attractive yet and all impulses and data are sent via cables, they are to disappear in the future. In addition, he will have access to a global network or a personal cloud where images that our eyes see, or even memories, will be saved. According to Elon Musk, the brain-computer interface is meant to be the only way to survive in an AI-driven world in the future. In this way, people will be able to match artificial intelligence.
Implant prototype made by Neuralink As it turns out, the entrepreneur’s plans are not as innovative (despite the fact that Neuralink has been operating since 2016), because two years ago Facebook also announced that it was working on a method enabling “writing from your mind” and “listening with the skin”. Already in 2017, research was carried out in cooperation with, inter alia, with the University of California, San Francisco, which showed that scientists are able to “read” a given word that a subject says by analyzing brain activity. When we think, we do not see the text, only the object. For this reason, there would also be no limitation due to different languages. The word was pronounced in response to an agreed question. This type of system would be designed, inter alia, to help dumb people to communicate with the environment and make it possible to write 100 words per minute. The latest research conducted by the University of California in cooperation with Facebook in this direction concerns the work of the brain of people with epilepsy. A patch with electrodes was attached to their heads to detect which part of the brain was the focus of the attacks. Algorithms encoding images from the brain to text showed about 60% efficiency – however, it must be remembered that the development of the entire mechanism is still in the testing phase, so such a result already at this stage satisfies neurosurgeons. Facebook, in addition to being a sponsor of university research, cares about the results of its analyzes, because on their basis it could create a platform or interface specially adapted to “silent typing”. In the near future, another – this time as long as a year – study will begin, during which Edward Chang, a neurosurgeon and professor at the University of California, will observe the work of the brain of only one patient who has permanently lost the ability to speak. The same method will be used as for people with epilepsy, i.e. active electrodes mounted on the skull. How would this writing by means of thought take place? Since Elon Musk wants to completely remove cables from the implant, according to Mark Chevillet, research director at Facebook Reality Labs, it could be, for example, a device in the form of glasses using AR technology. It would connect to the brain through an open network, and it would be used not only for writing, but even for regulating the volume of music. For now, however, these are still only predictions, as it is a venture that carries a lot of responsibility. Comprehensive research, development of the entire mechanism and tests will continue for years.

Anton Kovačić Administrator

A professional writer by day, a tech-nerd by night, with a love for all things money.

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