Too late, human brain chip experiments began

Science doesn’t wait…but it’s nothing compared to the economic motivations of tech companies. At the risk of leaving many scientists skeptical, even vigilant. This Wednesday, Bloomberg published an article we’ll still be talking about in ten years. Synchron, Neuralink’s competitor in the race on the direct neural interface, took the lead and registered the first human patient.

More commonly known as “brain-computer interfaces,” the chips in the brain have never been closer to us. In their first phase, these drugs are intended to treat paralyzed patients (such as paraplegics) by acting artificially in their brains, which can then go into areas belonging to superintelligence.

Clinical trials will begin on six severely paralyzed patients. In the interest of confidentiality, the identity of the first record holder has not been stated. No certificate will be taken. We only know that the trials will take place in New York, at Mount Sinai Hospital, between Manhattan and Harlem. The others will be split between New York and Pittsburgh.

To super smart?

The New York company, launched in 2016, doesn’t take the same approach as Elon Musk’s company, Neuralink. Instead of a device with tiny wires attached directly to nerve cells, Synchron passes through blood vessels to communicate with the brain. The regulators seem to favor the track. In July 2021, Synchron has already received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States for its clinical trials in humans.

If the tests are conclusive, US law enforcement officials will give their approval for trials on a larger scale of patients. “It will likely be several years before the Stentrode is up for sale,” the author prefers to provisional in the Bloomberg article.

At its rival Neuralink, the delays are widening. But Elon Musk’s company, loyal to the character, wants to be more ambitious. She has shown this through superior fundraising (Neuralink raised $200 million last year while Synchron raised $70 million since its inception) but also through her presentations. With the chip connected directly to the brain, Neuralink and Elon Musk want to develop super intelligence.

In its latest offering, the company has clearly revealed its ambitions to move beyond the paraplegic segment. Its ultimate goal: to give control to the brain to manipulate the computer without having to click, speak, or even move your eyes. Thought control, the real thing. Last year, in April, Neuralink posted a video of a monkey playing table tennis on a computer like this one.

“I think the brain-computer interface can be very useful for medical purposes (if it is clinically proven to be beneficial). But it is also a powerful technology and I think non-medical use should be regulated before something goes wrong”at the first conference of Neuralink technologist Jin Manchun Wong, in August 2020.

Neuralink problem

If the gaps are widening between Neuralink and Synchron it is also a matter of management. last february, lemon juice The article titled “Puzzle at Neuralink”, and provided an overview of the company’s main internal difficulties that were causing the loss of millions. From the testimonies of former employees, we learned that Neuralink had a major problem rotation It is very difficult to recruit. Working conditions and the weight of goals within very limited time limits will not help the best engineers to motivate themselves.

Even co-founder Max Hodak decided to leave in May 2021… to compete with Synchron. At the time, he had taken down a Twitter anchor, and his frustration with his company’s role has made no secret.

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