American tech entrepreneur Elon Musk proposed a prototype computer chip on Friday to make an electronic connection with people’s brains. He made this revelation with a pig.
The prototype, a device from his neurotechnology company Neuralink, is about the size of a coin and is located in the skull. The chip can transfer information between neurons and a smartphone via Bluetooth. Neurolink developed a special robot for implanting the device.
The prototype is currently being tested on pigs. In the long term, Musk and Neurolink see several possible uses in humans: from treating pain, visual disturbances and spinal cord injuries, to bridging damaged nerve tissue to help paralyzed people walk again, to operating devices with the brain. “A Fitbit for the brain,” said the billionaire.
Musk, the billionaire who is also CEO of electric car maker Tesla and space company SpaceX, believes that in the future, people will need to connect their brains to computers in order to keep up with artificial intelligence.
Musk wanted to show that the electrode is easy to insert and remove under local anesthesia. He therefore introduced Dorothy, a pig that had received the chip and was still running around happily even after it was removed.