Neuralink’s Telepathy Implant: A Giant Leap in Brain-Computer Interface

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Earlier this week, on Monday, 30th January 2024, Elon Musk, on his Twitter account, said that the first human received a brain implant called telepathy from Neuralink. He was recovering well, a post that has made rise to hot discussions concerning the claimed success step of the Neuralink company to first test its product called telepathy by implanting a device beneath the skull of a human being whereby the device is made of a small integrated electronic circuit that can process neural signals and communicate them to and from the human brain and a Neuralink app in a computer that decodes how the person intends to act, the electronic chip uses wireless connection and charging.

Telepathy is reading a person’s mind or mentally communicating ideas or things using means other than the five known senses, like words or physical signals (verbal communication). Telepathy occurs naturally when people talk to each other mentally, and a coincidence happens when they meet or do something that was not verbally communicated.

READ RELATED: Elon Musk Vs ChatGPT: A Disclaimed Encounter, It’s a War among AI Researchers.

Yet the company, founded in 2016, didn’t seek permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) until early 2022 – and the agency rejected the application; the product is not in the market yet; therefore, it may take six more years to be complete after some more experiments and trials. It was first tested in pigs and then in a monkey who could play a pong video game.

The rejection has not been previously reported. In explaining the decision to Neuralink, the agency outlined dozens of issues the company must address before human testing, a critical milestone on the final product approval, the staffers said.

The employees said the agency’s major safety concerns involved the device’s lithium battery, the potential for the implant’s tiny wires to migrate to other brain areas, and questions over whether and how the device can be removed without damaging brain tissue.

This is a combination of many technologies because even the implantation itself was done by a robot. This new device will enable a person to operate a smartphone or computer just by thinking about what they want to do. It also will be able to help people with neurological disorders like epilepsy, obesity, depression, brain injuries, Parkinson’s disease, blindness and deafness.

However, Neuralink is not the first company to work on such projects of the brain-to-computer interface. Other companies include Blackrock Neurotech, Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland and Precision Neuroscience.

Emerging technologies like Artificial intelligence, Augmented reality, Virtual reality and high-speed technologies like Starlink, space X and Neuralink have been implemented, and this redefines the boundaries of human capability and raises questions about how it aligns with religious beliefs and traditional laws.

Some people have concluded that it is evil, some criticize it, that it won’t get far, and some say it is unnecessary. Meanwhile, it is still good to embrace and adapt to technological advancements, or else we will remain backwards in the technology realm.

These are just a few of the possibilities in the technological revolution. Therefore, we should be prepared to embrace technological changes. And it is not that there are no skilled people. Still, many ideas are raised, few are advertised, few are supported, few come to implementation, few are adapted faster as needed, and there should be favourable environments designed so people can make careful studies and experiments that can thrive the stiff competition in the world market.

There should be ready testing equipment like human models so that scientists can test their products. Are there laws to regulate technology adaptation? If they are in place, the technology experts should be aware of them so that they may directly meet all the requirements before the products come to the market and have a short life span.

So this means that we should focus on establishing good products and checking the sustainability of the products we take out to the market.

Going back to the time of the COVID-19 strike, there were many ways of working, cooperating, washing hands and self-protection that arose, but where are all of them now, taking a prevalent example of the handwashing machines that were very effective in use at that time but if someone goes and takes a look now at the places where the systems were established there are not even water reserves, only sinks are left out waiting to be removed because water tanks are no longer available. So this calls out that the products should also be assured of sustainability in the market.

A Call for Sustainable Progress and Government-Startup Collaboration

It is also a good time that as the government has embraced changes in the educational curriculum that it also considers that the citizens understand the country’s laws related to their professions and get familiar with them, making it easier to develop technology products that align with our country as well as universal laws to reduce some drawbacks that may cause delay of launching of the products.

So, as we plan to establish our technologies to use in the country or export, we need to develop the necessary systems to adapt the technologies and move forward to make our technology viable in the world market.

READ RELATED: Strategies to embrace Tanzanian Education with AI-Powered Tech.

There could be more cooperation and understanding between the government and startup companies to publicize and foster adaptation of the technologies of Smart homes, smart cities, intelligent markets, and the 5G networks, among many emerging technologies.

It is also necessary that students are trained to recognize opportunities and seize them so that we not only have school geniuses but also people with the ability to analyze and understand the needs in society and connect empathy with scholarly knowledge to make genuine and sustainable products.

An aspiring woman in technology, Front End Developer, Graphics and UI/UX Designer, ICT Mentor, Human Centered Design facilitator and Digital Ambassador aiming to make revolution in the technology sector in Tanzania for all people making technology available for all.

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