Scientists Develop Brain Needle To Achieve Symbiosis With Artificial Intelligence

A team of scientists who are affiliated with Elon Musk’s Neuralink project published a paper in a journal called BioRxiv. The new study sheds some light on a possible new technique for inserting probes into brains. At the end of the study, it was noted that the research was funded through a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) contract.

The main idea behind why the team is developing this technique, is because they one day hope to build technology that is capable of monitoring brain activity. The study has been nicknamed the sewing machine for minimally invasive neural recording due to the way the technique works – it slightly resembles the actions of a sewing machine.

The study has demonstrated that this approach is both feasible and scalable by using a system which incorporates fine and flexible thin-film polymer probes, a fine and stiff insertion needle, and a robotic insertion machine. With all of that combined, the result is rapid and precise implantation of probes, each of which is individually targeted to reduce the amount of damage some to surrounding areas, such as the tissue or brain matter.

Cartoon Neuralink Scientist
The “sewing machine” method for inserting fine and flexible electrodes into the brain.
Source: biorxiv

Symbiosis with artificial intelligence

This technique is by no means perfect and will definitely not be ready any time soon. So far, all tests have been completed on lab rats and the researchers noted that it caused significant damage which means it did not seem durable for long term use. That said, they are still working to perfect the process and will hopefully get rid of all the dangers that are caused by the needle over time.

Not much is known about the Elon Musk-owned company, Neuralink. Its headquarters are located in San Francisco’s Mission District, where it shares an office building with OpenAI, which is another company co-founded by Musk. One quite interesting project that Musk has revealed is that they are working on a neural lace that will act as a digital layer above the cortex. There are hopes that this will be able to achieve symbiosis with artificial intelligence.

Elon Musk sees AI as one of the greatest dangers for humankind. His goal is to make humans at least equal to AI with computer-brain interfaces.

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