Elon Musk’s latest development of his Neuralink project is a chipped pig named Gertrude. In a Livestream yesterday, the neuroscience startup revealed a small computer chip had been implanted in its brain two months ago and presented a demo displaying the pig's neurons firing "in real time."
Perhaps Musk's most controversial company, Neuralink aims to connect minds with technology to help people with neurological conditions to control phones and computers, and ultimately tackle illnesses like dementia, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injuries. Musk also envisioned for the end goal to be an age of “superhuman cognition” to combat the dangers of artificial intelligence.
“It’s kind of like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires”, Musk said during yesterday’s webcast in which the audience was shown real-time neuron activity from Gertrude while she was eating straw during the demonstration. The coin-sized chip will eventually fit “quite nicely in your skull,” he said. “It could be under your hair and you wouldn’t know.”
The project has already applied for human trials, with aims to begin this year if it’s approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.