Elon Musk unveils pig with computer chip brain

Elon Musk unveils pig with a computer chip brain to demonstrate his ambitious plans to create a working brain-to-machine interface.

“It’s kind of like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires,” the Tesla CEO said on a webcast. His start-up Neuralink applied to launch human trials last year.

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The computer chip could enable people with neurological conditions to control phones or computers through their minds.

Musk argues such chips could be used to help cure conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries.

But the long-term goal is to create a future with what Musk calls “superhuman cognition”. To combat artificial intelligence so powerful he says it could destroy the human race.

Gertrude was one of the first three pigs in pens that were used in Friday’s webcast demo. She took a while to get going, but when she ate and sniffed straw, the neural activity showed up on a graph. She then mostly ignored all the attention around her.

The processor in her brain sends wireless signals, indicating neural activity in her snout when looking for food.

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Elon Musk talks computer chip for humans

Elon Musk said the original Neuralink device, revealed just over a year ago, had been simplified and made smaller. The device the company is developing consists of a tiny probe containing more than 3,000 electrodes attached to flexible threads thinner than human hair. The chip can monitor the activity of 1,000 brain neurons.

“It actually fits quite nicely in your skull. It could be under your hair and you wouldn’t know.”

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