Elon Musk plans to unveil a working model of his firm’s much-anticipated brain-implant device — created to cure everything from blindness to quadriplegia — at 6 p.m. Friday, he announced in a tweet.
The billionaire tech tycoon said Neuralink will perform a live demonstration of the machine, which installs a tiny computer chip into the brain to assist with motor control and other functions.
The mind-bending invention — meant to achieve human “symbiosis with artificial intelligence” — is stitched by a “sewing-machine-like” robot into a person’s dark matter using thin electrode-studded wires, according to the Neuralink, which will feature the live footage on its company website.
Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has offered few details about the event since he set a date for it in July.
But in a May interview with the podcaster Joe Rogan, Musk described the ambitious — and controversial — concept.
“It basically implant[s] in your skull. You basically take out a chunk of the skull put the Neuralink device in there and insert the electrothreads very carefully into the brain and then you stitch it up, and you wouldn’t even know that somebody has it. It can interface basically anywhere in your brain,” Musk said.
“It could be something that, let’s say, helps cure eyesight, even if you’ve lost your optic nerve,” he said. “In principle it could fix almost anything wrong with the brain. It could restore limb functionality… It could restore someone who is a quadriplegic to full functionality.”
Musk had previously said that a new model of the device would be “awesome” compared to an earlier version Neuralink presented last year.
But on Friday, some critics Friday weren’t convinced.
“What could go wrong? Cancer, psychosis, mood swings, memory loss, dependency in a machine for any intelligent thought. Dangerous until it is studied further,” one observer tweeted.
The San Francisco-based startup has reportedly been successful in implanting the devices in rats and plans to conduct human trials.
As of Friday, Musk had released no other details about what the live-streamed demonstration would include.