Elon Musk, who created the Neuralink company, has repeatedly expressed his desire to expand human capabilities by combining it with a computer. The billionaire project involves the introduction of an implant directly into the brain. A group of international researchers who have demonstrated the success of a less invasive technique looks at the problem quite differently.
A real surgical operation is required to insert a brain implant. Perhaps someday it will be quick and as simple as a regular vaccination, but so far there are hardly many people willing to go for an autopsy of the cerebral cortex. A group of Austrian and American scientists have proposed to establish the interaction of the brain with a computer through an electrode inserted directly into a blood vessel.
The first experiments have already been completed. A stent, a special elastic tube that includes electrodes, was inserted into a vein in two volunteers and passed up the jugular vein into a vessel next to the primary motor cortex of the brain. The electrodes were pressed against the vessel walls, which made it possible to identify the motor signals of the brain. When a person tries to do something, a signal is sent wirelessly to a computer via an infrared transmitter surgically inserted into the chest.
After a short training course, the subjects returned home. As it turned out, just two weeks later, both patients learned to move the mouse cursor and click with the power of thought – this is enough to work in Windows 10. The team of researchers is currently seeking funding. According to them, the equipment captures only one bit of information, which is not enough for large-scale projects. But it can improve the lives of those in the chair by allowing them to get jobs on the Internet along with other users.