Pigs might fly

Mr Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla and SpaceX, erstwhile discussed in these blogs regarding AI and self-driving technology has a new interest; a brain-to-machine interface! The brain machine interface has the acronym BMI, which may confuse dyslexics with one of those large computer companies.

His start-up company tasked with exploring this neural-chip interface is imaginatively called Neuralink. Recently it demonstrated the interface with the customer facing, Gertrude the pig, whose brain has been fitted with a Neuralink BMI.

The interface broadcasts neural activity in the pig and sends this as a radio signal to recording and analysis equipment. At this stage it’s more about working out how a pig thinks than trying to control the pig but Neuralink have applied to carry out human trials.

Musk’s fascination with AI may take a quantum leap if he can figure out how a human brain works and Neuralink is his way of doing it. There could be spin-offs for the human race too, perhaps the BMI might improve the lives of people with dementia, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injuries.

One wonders if and when this tiny brain probe with more than 3,000 electrodes will become commonly available, maybe to despotic and authoritarian regimes. What would they do with it?

So, what’s the future for Gertude? Is it beyond the realms of possibility that a pig might fly given a suitable craft, maybe a SpaceX rocket?

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