Before addressing the question of ‘How to Apply for a Neuralink Implant,’ this article also aims to shed light on essential information related to the topic.
Neuralink, an American neurotechnology company, was established in 2016 by Elon Musk along with a team of seven scientists and engineers. Headquartered in Fremont, California, this private research company recently announced a breakthrough that has astonished the world. According to the company’s latest reports, a chip implanted in a person’s brain has started functioning successfully. Moreover, reports indicate that the individual with the implanted chip is in good health.
Neuralink: The Idea
The Neuralink chip, approximately 23 millimeters (0.9 inches) in diameter, is designed to be implanted in a specific area of the skull and is claimed to operate based on the user’s thoughts. The chip contains 64 thin threads, finer than a strand of hair. It is equipped with 1024 electrodes that capture information. Additionally, it has a battery that can be charged wirelessly.
How Does Neuralink Work?
Dubbed as ‘telepathy’ technology, Neuralink is implanted into the brain through robotic surgery. Once the chip is operational, it connects with the neural network. The chip captures neuron signals from the brain and transmits them wirelessly to a nearby computer or mobile device through an app. To illustrate, if you decide to call a friend named Dennis Martin on your mobile phone, the phone will automatically dial and connect you to Dennis Martin the moment you think of it.
Another example, imagine you have a robot at home for work or to assist a patient. This robot can be operated based on your ‘decisions’ made in thought. Similarly, if you need to send an email, the moment you ‘decide’ this in your mind, your computer will automatically type and send the email to the intended recipient’s email address.
After testing on animals, Neuralink received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May last year to begin trials of its chip in humans. Despite criticisms that in today’s environment, the only privacy left to a person is in their own mind and that Neuralink’s trials might further erode this privacy, Elon Musk continues to advance with the research.
How to Apply for a Neuralink Implant
Neuralink is not yet available to the general public. However, individuals who have completely or partially lost their mobility can participate in clinical trials. This device, which translates a person’s neural activity into practical functions, can be implanted in the skulls of those with mobility impairments.
The company states, ‘If you have limited or no ability to use both hands due to a cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), you may qualify‘. Applications can be made through the ‘Patient Registry’ link on the Neuralink website. Interested individuals must be prepared to fully cooperate in the study that lasts for approximately six years. More details can be found on this link.
The initial beneficiaries of ‘telepathy’ technology will be individuals who are unable to operate computers, phones, and other computerized devices manually. Consider the case of the renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, who was wheelchair-bound due to motor neuron disease. If he had access to this technology, he might have been able to communicate ideas faster than even the best typist could manage, commented Elon Musk.
Remaining key questions?
Even though Neuralink has gained significant attention and made notable advancements, there are still many important unanswered questions remaining. The most crucial question is: how does this device, which successfully interprets and translates neural signals, send messages back to the human brain? If that’s not possible, how can this become a ‘market success’ as a product?
There are many more questions like Safety and Longevity, Effectiveness and Reliability, Ethical and Privacy Concerns, Technical Challenges, Accessibility and Cost, Long-Term Vision and Applications, Impact on Neuroscience and Neurology, how Neuralink’s technology might work with or improve other new technologies like artificial intelligence or virtual reality, and Public Perception and Social Impact.
Numerous unanswered questions remain, and due to the secrecy surrounding various aspects of Neuralink, a question arises from some corners: Is Musk’s Neuralink project a gamble in the stock market with an aim of trillions of dollars?