What is Neuralink? A Look into Elon Musk’s Futuristic Neurotech Venture

Introduction to Neuralink

Elon Musk has a lot of ventures in science and technology. While Tesla, SpaceX, and recently Twitter make it to the news often, he also has some other ventures that are under the radar and not as popular. Neuralink is one such venture of Musk in the health tech sector. 

Let us take a look into what Neuralink is, the progresses made by the company, and some of the potential and promises Musk has made the company will deliver, in this article.

What is Neuralink?


Neuralink is a neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk and a group of scientists and engineers the main aim of the company is to develop a chip that, upon being implanted into a human brain will enable the person to directly transmit information to electronic devices. 

The applications of Neuralink chips when completed range from prosthetic implants directly controlled by thoughts to restoring vision for people who are even born blind. Neurologists have commented on the ability of the chip to help patients with Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and similar neurological disorders.

The company is also working on a robot that can rapidly place the implants with electrodes 20 times thinner than a human hair. This robot is also said to have the potential of performing critical surgeries that can otherwise result in tissue damage.


Working of Neurons

The brain has cells known as neurons that work in large networks through electrical impulses. Neurons release molecules known as neurotransmitters upon receiving certain stimuli. The neurotransmitters then communicate with other neurons and this complex network of neurons enables sensations such as sight, listening, touch, and even thoughts.

Simply put, the Neuralink chips which have microscopic electrodes are connected to the human brain, which then studies the information passed between the neurons. This helps learn the right instructions the chips can give to directly control the actions of neurons. 

While we currently use technology like EEG scans to study brain activity, directly using electrodes on the brain offers accurate information that can be used to study and understand how to sync brain activities with the chip.

Applications of Neuralink

Applications of Neuralink

Scientists and engineers have appreciated the ingenuity in combining existing technologies and the understanding of neuroscience shown by the Neuralink team during their live demos. Famously Neuralink showed a monkey connected to a computer operating the mouse to play a simple video game.

Here are some of the expected applications of Neuralink chips and some other futuristic and fantastic claims made by Elon Musk himself regarding the abilities of the technology.

Near Future Applications of Neuralink

  • The company is working to create devices that can help patients suffering from chronic pain without medication by directly working on neurons.
  • One potential application of Neuralink’s technology is to provide a way for people with paralysis to control prosthetic limbs or exoskeletons just by thoughts. 
  • Another application the company is working on is to provide treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease or depression.

Elon Musk’s Ambitious Thoughts on Neuralink’s Applications

While the above applications are potentially possible in the coming years, the founder and tech enthusiast has some ideas on how the technology will evolve in the future.

  • Create implantable devices that can enhance human cognitive abilities and provide a direct interface between the human brain and technology. If implemented, this can enhance the human brain’s memory, perception, and communication, and directly control technology through thoughts.
  • Another potential if the far-fetched application of Neuralink’s technology is the creation of a symbiotic relationship between humans and machines. This will help humans process information faster and make better decisions quickly, allowing for a new way of co-existence between humans and machines, which will help humans to “join them if you can’t beat them” to quote Elon Musk, and have a cyborg-like existence.

While all this sounds exciting for a future as depicted in science fiction, the company is still in the early stages and needs to overcome a lot of engineering and technological challenges to make its claims a reality. Elon Musk has been a controversial figure in recent days but has achieved a lot of unrealistic claims over the years in his other ventures. So it is up to time to show whether Neuralink will become a reality in creating a human-machine coexistence where our lives are even more intertwined with technology.

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