Elon Musk reveals his plan to link your brain to your smartphone

Elon Musk reveals his plan to link your brain to your smartphone

Emerging Tech Trends:

Step one: Drill holes in the skull. Step two: Implant “threads” into the brain.

Neuralink, one of Musk’s secretive companies, revealed the advance at a San Francisco event Tuesday, giving the public its first real peek at what the startup’s been up to since its launch two years ago. Neuralink has also created a neurosurgical robot reminiscent of a sewing machine, which can embed the threads — each much thinner than a human hair — in the brain.

So far, the threads have only been tested in animals, but Musk said he hopes to start testing in humans “by the end of next year,” a timeline that seems unrealistically ambitious. He’ll need to get the green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first, which promises to be a complicated feat: The current procedure for implanting the threads requires drilling holes in the skull.

If he succeeds in getting FDA approval, it’ll likely be because he’s pitching the advance as a technology meant to address a medical condition: paralysis. The idea is that the threads will read neuronal signals from a paralyzed patient’s brain and transmit that data to a machine — say, an iPhone — enabling the patient to control it without having to tap or type or swipe.

Neuralink’s trials so far have been conducted on rats, and, it seems, monkeys. In a telling moment during the Q&A portion of the event, Musk veered off-script, saying, “A monkey has been able to control the computer with its brain. Just FYI.” (We don’t yet have evidence to that effect.) Neuralink president Max Hodak’s response: “I didn’t realize we were running that result today, but there it goes.”

If this technology is functional in human patients — and we should always be careful not to extrapolate too much from early animal studies to humans, particularly when dealing with complex brain systems — it could significantly improve quality of life for millions of people. Approximately 5.4 million people are living with paralysis in the US alone, according to a Reeve Foundation study.

As if to underscore Neuralink’s medicinal ambitions, the company’s head surgeon, Matthew MacDougall, spoke onstage dressed in blue scrubs. He emphasized that Neuralink’s main concern is patient safety, adding that eventually the company wants its brain implant procedure to be as non-invasive as Lasik eye surgery. He also said it’s “only intended for patients with serious unmet medical diseases,” like people who’ve been completely paralyzed as the result of a spinal cord injury.

But helping people with paralysis is not, it seems, Musk’s end goal — the futurist made clear he has much grander ambitions. Ultimately, he said, he aims “to achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence.” The goal is to develop a technology that enables humans “merging with AI” so that we won’t be “left behind” as AI systems become more and more advanced.

This fantastical vision is not the sort of thing for which the FDA greenlights human trials. But a study on helping people with paralysis? That may get a warmer reception.

Neuralink is arguably one of the foremost startups dedicated to biohacking, the quest to augment human beings’ physical and cognitive performance, often by performing radical experiments on ourselves. It’s now facing a problem common to many biohackers: The medical system, they complain, holds back progress.

“If you were to come up with a compound right now that literally cures aging, you couldn’t get it approved,” Oliver Medvedik, a biohacking advocate who directs the Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering at Cooper Union, recently told me. “By the definition we’ve set up, aging isn’t a disease, and if you want to get it approved by the FDA you have to target a certain disease. That just seems very strange and antiquated and broken.”

Musk said that the event, which was live-streamed, was not about showing off. “The main reason for doing this presentation is recruiting,” he said. He wants more people to apply to Neuralink’s open positions. The company currently has about 90 employees and $158 million in funding, $100 million of which reportedly came from Musk himself.

But Hodak described the purpose of the presentation differently in an interview with the New York Times. “We want this burden of stealth mode off of us so that we can keep building and do things like normal people, such as publish papers,” he said. (The company recently released a white paper explaining its new technology.)

Neuralink isn’t the first to explore brain-machine interfaces. Other companies like Kernel and Paradromics are also working in this space, as is the US military. Some scientists are currently working on brain implants that would translate paralyzed people’s thoughts into speech.

In other words, if Neuralink really has achieved what it says it’s achieved, this could be a major advance with promising applications for people down the road.

Just don’t expect those applications too soon: The company still has to prove that its system can work in human brains, and that the threads, once implanted, can survive in our brains for years without deteriorating — or causing our brains themselves to deteriorate.

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Africa rising as Bizcommunity launches .Africa domain

Africa rising as Bizcommunity launches .Africa domain

Africa rising, pan-Africanism and African renewal are just some of the terms seen regularly on the radars of global business scenario forecasters.

52.3% increase in intra-African trade

According to The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), intra-African trade is expected to increase by 52.3% from 2020. With the African Continental Free Trade Agreement signing in Rwanda, March 2018, and other factors, Africa has proclaimed itself open for business – with 55 countries merging into a single market of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $2.5tn, which will see Africa become the largest free trade area in the world.

With the above factors providing every reason why African business stakeholders should be talking to each other more than ever, Bizcommunity’s dedicated B2B platforms are ideal to enable exactly the knowledge and resource sharing and intra-African networking required right now.

Celebrating Africa Month_ May 2019

In May, the daily go-to media for the curation and distribution of African company news, jobs and events across 18 industries will further spotlight the factors and stakeholders spearheading these moves.

Join us in our vision to enable a connected business-ready Africa

Send a clear message to the world that your company is open for African business opportunities on bizcommunity.africa daily news platforms.

Join us in our vision to enable a connected business-ready Africa. Publish company news, opinion, activations, events and jobs on the biggest multi-industry website, that’s made in Africa, to put African business news on the front pages and in the hands of our 464,000 readers.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Bizcommunity.

Global Cyber Security Market

Global Cyber Security Market

Author: Hirem Sam (Source: Global News Journal)

Zion Market Research has announced the addition of a new market intelligence report. The report is titledCyber Security (Network Security, Cloud Security, Wireless Security and Others) Market, By Solution (Identity and Access Management (IAM), Encryption, Risk and Compliance Management, Data Loss Prevention, Antivirus And Antimalware, Firewall And Others), By Vertical (Aerospace, Government, Financial Services, Telecommunication, Healthcare And Others): Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Segment, Trends and Forecast, 2015 – 2021”. The global Cyber Security Market report serves with all-inclusive, highly-effective, and thoroughly analyzed information in a well-organized manner, based on actual facts, about the Cyber Security Market. The whole information from the scratch to the financial and management level of the established industries associated with the Cyber Security Market at the global level is initially acquired by the dedicated team. The gathered data involves the information about the industry’s establishment, type and the form of products it manufactures, annual sales and revenue generation, the demand of the manufactured product in the market, marketing trends followed by the industry, and a lot more important information. The industries majorly comprise the global leading industries that are putting their extreme efforts to maintain the hold over the highly-competitive Cyber Security Market, about which the thorough information is provided in the report.

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Cyber security

Some of the Major Cyber Security Market Players Are:

  • Symantec
  • IBM
  • McAfee
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • CSC

The industry analysts begin their task by compiling this huge pile of information, graphically expressing, anticipating the future market growth, offering the ways to improve the business, and many other important viewpoints explained by them in the global Cyber Security Market report. The report delivers the analytical data in several parts based on the fragments of the global Cyber Security Market product, its end-users, applications, and others of the market; additionally,

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Cyber Security

The global Cyber Security Market report elucidates the comprehensive analysis of the market-derived on the basis of regional division [Latin America, North America, Asia Pacific, Middle & East Africa, and Europe]. The report comprises precise analytical information related to market forecast for several upcoming years. The report also includes the particulars about the valuation of macro and micro elements significant for the growth of already established Cyber Security Market contenders and emerging new companies.