“About 100 people right now, I think over time they might 10,000 or more people at Neuralink”

From Neuralink Progress Update, Summer 2020:

0:00 – Stream Start

0:30 – Intro Video

1:02 – Start of Presentation
1:07 – Welcome from Elon Musk
1:16 – Emphasis that this presentation is to encourage recruiting
1:44 – The purpose of Neuralink
3:40 – Current Medical Research and Available Tech
5:42 – Neuralink and Development
6:11 – The Link itself
8:26 – Charging The Link
8:47 – Getting a Link
10:05 – Surgical/Implantation Robot
10:46 – (Mildly Gruesome) Video of Electrode Insertion

11:42 – Tech Demo in Pigs
12:12 – Joyce (Pig with no Neural Implant)
12:58 – Dorothy (Pig that formerly had a Neural Implant, was later removed)
13:32 – Trouble getting Gertrude into the outside pen
15:34 – Gertrude (Pig with Neural Implant, beeps when Snout stimulated)
17:15 – Pigs with two Neural Implants

17:58 – Reading Brain Activity
18:20 – Reading Neurons to predict joint positions of a Pig on a Treadmill

19:10 – Neuron Stimulation with Implants (“Writing to the Brain”)
19:27 – Analysing Neuron Stimulation with Two-Photon Microscopy

20:41 – Specs of Initial Device
21:30 – Neuralink progress towards Clinical Studies
22:20 – Further emphasis that this presentation is to encourage recruiting

23:39 – Start of Live Q&A
24:53 – How is Spike Detection implemented and What is a Spike?
27:00 – What can be further done to simplify the device installation process?
27:41 – Anything specifically to do with the Robot?
28:25 – What are some of the lower Bandwidth activities to target first?
29:15 – Can you summon a Tesla telepathically?
29:45 – How do you see the device and API developing over time?
30:38 – Will the device ever be used for gaming?
31:03 – Is the device limited to surface layers of the Brain?
34:00 – What is the most challenging problem that must be solved to meet Neuralink’s goal?
36:44 – How thin are the Electrodes and possibility of Upgrades?
38:09 – What are the “Read/Write speeds” of the device?
40:34 – How big is the Neuralink Team and how do you expect it to grow?
41:32 – How does the system fair against outside signal disturbances?
42:44 – Audience Question: What are some other applications for the device?
44:55 – How is the device protected from the body?
46:42 – Will you be able to save and replay memories in the future?
47:32 – Animal care in Neuralink
49:19 – What programming language is being used in developing the device and Robot?
50:10 – But can it run Crysis?
50:59 – Can the device be used to eventually explain Consciousness?
52:33 – The Security of the device
54:11 – Any points the team find cool about the device?
54:51 – Positives of using Pigs as a model for development
56:50 – Availability and Cost of the device and implantation
58:02 – Architecture of the device
59:54 – How does the integrity of the device compare to Bone and the area of implantation?

1:01:55 – Closing questions and comments
1:02:00 – Flexibility and width of the Threads
1:02:27 – Length of the Threads
1:02:40 – Movements of the Threads and other improvements to biocompatibility
1:02:58 – (Down the line of staff) What is number one on your wishlist for the device?

1:12:10 – Closing statement from Elon Musk

Too many important things to quote. Just watch the whole presentation. Especially the Q&A.

Companies mentioned in this article: Neuralink
Field of the article: Neural Interfaces
Human body part focus of the article: Brain

Biohacker attempts editing his DNA with CRISPR

From This Guy Says He’s The First Person To Attempt Editing His DNA With CRISPR:

the biohacker claims he’s the first person trying to modify his own genome with the groundbreaking gene-editing technology known as CRISPR. And he’s providing the world with the means to do it, too, by posting a “DIY Human CRISPR Guide” online and selling $20 DNA that promotes muscle growth.

But editing your DNA isn’t as simple as following step-by-step advice. Scientists say that injecting yourself with a gene for muscle growth, as Zayner’s done, won’t in fact pump up your arms. Zayner himself admits that his experiments over the last year haven’t visibly changed his body. There are safety risks, too, experts say: People could infect themselves, or induce an inflammatory reaction.

But to Zayner, whether or not the experiment actually works is besides the point. What he’s trying to demonstrate, Zayner told BuzzFeed News, is that cutting-edge biology tools like CRISPR should be available to people to do as they wish, and not be controlled by academics and pharmaceutical companies.

Another biohacker, Brian Hanley, popular for testing anti-age gene therapy on himself, commented Zayner’s kits with a post on the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies:

Yes, there is a long history of scientists and physicians experimenting on themselves. 15 Nobel prizewinners did it. Hundreds of documented cases of prominent scientists doing it. I am sure there are thousands more such experiments by scientists that are not documented. There have been no documented deaths of scientists by self-experiment since 1928. But it is one thing for someone who really understands what they are doing to perform such experiments, or for qualified people to assist another qualified person. It is quite another thing for Joe programmer biohacker-hopeful to do that without really understanding it because some guy sold him a kit.

The point is not if it’s legit or not, effective or not, legal or not. The point is that there is a growing community of humans that is experimenting, tinkering, and taking risks with their bodies, trying to achieve things that the mainstream audience considers horrifying, impossible, out of reach. This community doesn’t have much credibility today, just like IT security hackers didn’t have much credibility in the early days of the Internet. Today, hacking communities are recruiting pools by top military organizations in the world, and hacking conferences are a prime stage for the biggest software and hardware vendors on the market.

Lost in a sea of pseudo-scientists, impostors, scammers, and amateur wannabe, there are a few serious, determined, fearless explorers of the human body. They won’t look credible until they will.