Professor defends "mediocre neuroscience" assessment of Neuralink demo

01-Sep-2020
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Rory Cellan-Jones summarised academic response to Neuralink demo as "this is solid engineering but mediocre neuroscience" - and received critical replies from Elon Musk and his followers.
Friday's demo involved a pig called Gertrude whose neural activity was sent it wirelessly to a screen.
A series of beeps happened every time her snout was touched, indicating activity in the part of her brain seeking out food.
Rory followed up with Andrew Jackson, professor of neural interfaces at Newcastle University.
He has explored helping spinal injury patients by relaying signals from their brains to their spinal cords to restore some arm movements.
1,024 channels is not that impressive these days, but the electronics to relay them wirelessly is state-of-the-art.
Would like to see Neuralink's work published in peer-reviewed papers.
Sceptical about using it to read and write memories and otherwise enhance brain functions.
How it processes thoughts and memories is still a mystery.

You need entrepreneurs, engineers and academics to make sustainable progress

Mentioned in this article:

Academic Andrew Jackson - Professor of Neural Interfaces at Newcastle University.

Academic Elon Musk - Technology entrepreneur, investor, and engineer.

Company Neuralink - Company developing high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and machines.

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