In search of the technology that will read our mind

In recent years, brain interfaces have jumped from the aseptic academic research sector to the voracity of private initiative.

The presentation of Neuralink this summer by Elon Musk has stirred the brain interfaces sector. At least as far as visibility is concerned. This market, which according to the specialized consultant Neurotech Reports will amount to 12,000 million dollars in 2020, is in full swing.

Musk’s brain interface company is only one of the actors that have gone swimming in this market. It also has a good number of academic research centers, with ongoing projects. From time to time, works are published in Nature and in other scientific journals about the possibilities of these devices.

The decoding of a real-time question-answer dialogue through cerebral cortex activity was recently presented by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. Stanford University disseminated how patients with paralysis could successfully move a cursor on a screen, just thinking about it.

Actually, the first time that a patient with paralysis moved the cursor of a computer with thought was in the first decade of the 2000s. From there on there has continued to be progress. Some people managed to control even one tablet thanks to the reading of brain activity.

The road has been long so far and successes have only lavished in recent years. The first of the wireless brain interfaces appeared six years ago, as did the first brain-to-brain communication. From all this knowledge, the private sector has begun to experiment.

Brain interfaces

The company embarks on brain interfaces

Neuralink has been the most colorful case. Like everything that corresponds to Elon Musk, the company presented its work with great media expectations. His method, he announced, improves precedents. It involves implanting a chip through an invasive route. In total there are more than 3,000 electrodes that would be placed in the brain.

All this would serve to encourage in the future that patients with paralysis would move the limbs again or could control devices with nerve impulses in the brain. It is not the only company that has set its sights on this field. Facebook works on a method to transform thoughts into text. Nissan showed a brain-to-vehicle interface, which allowed cars to interpret neuronal signals.

The consultant Nielsen already uses neuroscience to try to capture aspects that are not aware of the consumer’s purchase decision. Another example of how companies explore this new technology. Needless to say, there are many who are starting and have focused on this field, such as Neuralink. Not surprisingly, the predictions for the market in 2020 are too bulky to ignore simply.

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