Neuralink is not getting the recognition it deserves
While business analysts are discussing about few American companies are paying a large amount of money to purchase a Chinese social media dance application, there are engineers who actually are waking up every single day to make this world a better place.
Yesterday, Elon Musk and a few Neuralink engineers presented their first update since July 2019. In fact, when I read the scientific paper published by Elon Musk in 2019 with where Neuralink stood, I was stunned. Mostly because Elon had bravado to put his name on top of the research paper. But also because of the progress of Neuralink. However, yesterday it blew my mind how far they have progressed.
Remember, it’s all about inputs & outputs. The goal in life is to minimize your inputs, and maximize your outputs. Communication & collaboration have always been about optimizing inputs. Long ago (incoming crash course), humans communicated by hand gestures and verbal noise. Then, language was established. Eventually, the written form of language was practiced around the globe. At some point in the recent century, we discovered that we didn’t actually have to be physically present to communicate with another party. Today, we communicate through our smartphones and other technological devices, and we mostly use our fingers or voice to do this.
So here’s another layer of input we can optimize. This is exactly what Neuralink is doing. What if you didn’t have to actually use your fingers or voice, but could apply the necessary inputs to your technological devices with your thoughts.
Sounds like a Sci-Fi movie? Not really, they already have a device capable of reading neurons activity at high accuracy. No device in research labs compete with Neuralink currently— fact.
In reality, your brain is full of neurons that are triggering a certain way, and if we’re able to capture the pattern of different actions, then in theory we should be able to translate your thoughts into inputs. I actually don’t think this is a hard problem to solve. Neuralink’s device threads are able to capture how neurons are firing, and we already established in the past that data is the key in everything. The more data you have, the better you could model your expected results.
Here’s an example. Say you have a smartphone and you want to browse a specific application. What if the device reading your neurons triggering could recognize that you want to browse into your phone and use a specific application? The phone receives signals from the Bluetooth connection connected to your Neuralink device, and thus executes the desired actions.
Elon confirmed yesterday that you could summon your Tesla with your Neuralink. “100%” he said. What else is 100% certain that this device could do in the future? Remember, inputs & outputs.
I think the potential is endless. There are many use cases I see this product fitting before it hits the mass market. Musk and the Neuralink team have already discussed about the potential to prevent diseases and heal patients in severe conditions, but I actually think this device could be a great monitoring tool for our health. The way I see it, this is the next frontier of health. It’ll no longer be about fixing it, but rather about preventing it. Imagine a device that could warn you about your daily habits.
Obviously this will take time. We are talking about years, but don’t hold your breath — I do expect within this decade that Neuralink makes a breakthrough in academia, and eventually commercializes their products through the open market. If you compare the progress from last summer to yesterday, there’s no reason to believe the latter is not possible!
To think that Neuralink is only on version 0.9… Imagine.
For any vegans and animal rights activists out there, please watch the presentation from yesterday and let me know if you have ever seen a team take care of pigs. This research has to be conducted on animals before it gets through humans, so if there was another way I’m sure they would have preferred it.