For Prof. Dr. Álvaro Machado Dias, neuroscientist and futurist, professor at UNIFESP, this combination shown by Neuralink shows that generative algorithms can add strength to neuroscience
At the beginning of the week, Elon Musk announced that the first implant of a chip in the human brain was made by his company, Neuralink. The procedure took place after the company received approval from the FDA, the United States regulatory body, and chose a volunteer for the tests that began in September last year.
For Prof. Dr. Álvaro Machado Dias, neuroscientist and futurist, professor at UNIFESP, this combination shown by Neuralink shows that generative algorithms can add strength to neurosciences. However, it is necessary to keep in mind that such progress uses a result of mental activity, which is blood perfusion, which is measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We still don’t know what the ‘language of thought’ is and even if there is one.”
Follow Forbes on WhatsApp and receive the main news about business, career, technology and lifestyle
“The idea of connecting thoughts to the internet, explained in detail in 2017, was to be able to consult external information sources simply by thinking and also to send thoughts to share with other people, making telepathy a reality. After seven years, it is safe to say that we have not advanced one millimeter in this direction, since we remain completely ignorant about the neurophysiology of the representations that appear to our consciousness and that we call thought. On the other hand, we have evolved in less ambitious but still very important directions.”
“One line in which we have made unequivocal progress is in the indirect decoding of mental images and even imagined (‘sub-vocalized’) speech using a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging and generative algorithms such as Mid Journey and ChatGPT. This does not have to do directly with Neuralink’s work, but it shows how new technologies – in this case, generative algorithms – can add strength to neuroscience. However, it is necessary to keep in mind that such progress uses a result of mental activity, which is blood perfusion, which is measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging. As I said before, we still don’t know what the ‘language of thought’ is and even if there is one.”
“Neuralink’s two biggest advances are its electrode, which is thin, compact and anatomical, and its method of insertion into the cortex, which involves a surgical robot specially developed for the function. These are not contributions that directly revolutionize science. However, the fact that the electrodes have thinner filaments allows them to cover a greater number of neurons and this in turn could lead to the development of neural prostheses that allow the rehabilitation of complex behaviors, which in itself would be revolutionary. The same thing applies to surgical robots, which are not new, but which can scale up neurosurgeries, which in itself would be socially disruptive.”