Neuralink, Elon Musk's intriguing brain-computer project, will hold a "progress update" that will serve as the startup's second major event.
Musk on Thursday made the announcement on his platform of choice -- Twitter -- declaring there will be a press update on Aug. 28. Along with the date, the eccentric businessman and innovator shared Neuralink's mission statement: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Or essentially, if you can't outsmart AI, you might as well become AI, or at least become a part of it.
The progress update is a sneak peek into Musk's mysterious project, which plans to produce technologies so that human brains can link up with computers. With SpaceX working on its giant rocket and Tesla hard at work to achieve full autonomy, however, Neuralink's progress has been relatively quiet.
In March, Musk shared a tiny and vague update about the company, saying, "Wait until you see the next version vs. what was presented last year -- it's awesome."
Well, it appears we're about to see what's the next version is. By next month, Musk could finally unveil the materialization of his next-level and quite ambitious idea.
Neuralink's last major appearance (and also it's first) was a press event held in July 2019. The event saw the introduction N1, a chip that has more than a thousand electrodes and measures four millimeters by four.
The N1 chip, according to the company at the time, was a massive upgrade from the current design used by Parkinson's patients that only has 10 electrodes. Each electron is five microns thick, 95 microns thinner than a human hair, and is designed to rest 60 microns away from a neuron to detect activity. It is enclosed in a hermetic package, measuring eight millimeters in diameter and one-fourth of a millimeter tall.
The initial design uses four of these, one by the somatic sensory cortex and three in motor areas. A robot designed by the team was used to stitch the probes, which only took less than an hour.
Neuralink's goal, as revealed at last year's event, was to carry out clinical trials before the year 2020 ends. It is to be tested on patients with quadriplegia due to C1-C4 spinal cord injury. The company has not made announcements a change of plans due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Neuralink debuted in 2016 as a medical research firm based in California, USA. According to Musk, he started the company in order to carry out a brain-computer connection tech that he believes will be the key to stopping AI from turning against the human race.