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Elon Musk offered a demo this week of the brain computer built by his company Neuralink.
In a livestream demo, Musk explained that the goal of Neuralink is to connect the brain to a computing device through flexible threads that are 10-times thinner than a human hair.
Neuralink believes that neurological problems can be treated by sending signals through the device, treating memory loss, anxiety, brain damage, and depression, among other conditions. There were also mind-control capabilities teased, such as summoning a Tesla, controlling a video game, or even a SpaceX spaceship.
The device could also “save and replay memories,” Musk said. To get even more sci-fi, Musk said “you could potentially download [memories] into a robot body.”
The “Link” can be installed without general anesthesia and Musk hopes that the surgery will eventually be conducted by a robot in about an hour. The device will be about the size of a large coin.
As part of the demonstration, Musk showed off three pigs – one with a Link installed, another with a Link removed, and a third with no treatment. The cyborg pig was named Gertrude and had the implant about two months ago. The audience was shown real-time neural signals from Gertrude’s brain.
Musk said the company has received a Breakthrough Device designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and plans to conduct the first human implantation soon.
While the demonstration showed that the company is actively advancing the technology, Musk said the real purpose of the event was recruiting.
“We’re not trying to raise money or do anything else, but the the main purpose is to convince great people to come work at Neuralink, and help us bring the product to fruition — make it affordable and reliable and and such that anyone who wants one can have one,” Musk said.