During a demonstration on August 28th, Elon Musk revealed a pig named Gertrude, who has had a coin-sized computer chip in her brain for the past two months, designed by his startup company, Neuralink.
“It’s like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires,” Musk remarked.
The chip reads Gertrude’s brain waves and sends them to a computer. This specific Neuralink connects to neurons in her snout and whenever she touches something with her snout it sends out neural spikes, according to Musk. He explains more about how the chip functions:
View this post on Instagram
Elon Musk has showed a pig called Gertrude with a coin-sized computer chip in her brain to demonstrate recent progress in Neuralink and ambitious plans to create a working brain-to-machine interface. Gertrude was a happy pig with a 2-months old chip from Neuralink. Elon Musk has shown also a bunch of other pigs like: Dorothee with a chip removed, showing that you can always resign (or go for an upgrade). a pig with two chips. All in all, the presentation was a huge success. ___________________________________________________ #elonmusk #28aug #neuralink #elon #28augneuralink #ai #brainmachineinterface #spaceX #solarcity #hyperloop #engineering #bmi #boringcompany #braincomputerinterface #theboringcompany #bci #openai #starlink #brain #falcon #matrix #falconheavy #tesla #science #robotic #artificialintelligence #implant
Gertrude is not the only pig with a Neuralink implant—Musk stated that the chip is installed in several other pigs, with dual Neuralink chips in three of the pigs.
Musk mentioned that the pigs with the implants are perfectly happy, normal, and indistinguishable from ones without the implant.
Sergey Stavisky, a neuroscientist at Stanford University, said that “the company has made substantial and impressive progress since an initial demonstration of an earlier chip in July 2019,” which shows that Musk and his company are rapidly working towards creating a working chip for humans.
While we’re unsure of when the first human chip will be installed, it doesn’t seem like it’s too far off.
The hope is that these implants will cure neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and spinal cord injuries.