Neuralink Livestream – Full Talk w Elon Musk Q&A & Executive Team Presentation (Edited & Synced)



[Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] hello everybody so that that video was not to Shutterstock that was actually your link so that that's actual video from the company so if you want to get a sense for what it's like to work in your link that video is indicative of the atmosphere of your link it's an incredibly talented team and you're going to hear a lot from problem tonight so we're gonna actually go quite into depth on what we're doing why we're doing how we're doing it and I'm just incredibly impressed with the caliber of of talent at your link and the in fact the main reason for during this presentation is recruiting so we really want to have the the best doubt in the world come and work at your link anyone that's interested in trying to solve this problem and that's actually the primary purpose for this this presentation so okay so the why of neuro-link just to go over it is I think it's important for us to address brain related diseases the everyone if they if you survive cancer and heart disease the odds are that you will have some brain related disorder so if you're like Alzheimer's or dementia and if you don't friends and family will for sure and I think unless we have some sort of brain machine interface that can solve brain ailments of all kinds whether it's an accident or congenital or any kind of brain related disorder or a spinal sorter if you know somebody who's broken their neck or broken their spine we can solve that with a chip and and this is something that I think most people don't quite understand yet and we're gonna go over in detail how this is possible but I think there's there's an incredible amount we can do to solve brain disorders acted damage and all this will occur actually and it quite slowly so do what emphasize that it's not gonna be like suddenly neuro-link will have this incredible neural lace and start taking over people's brains okay it will take a long time so and you'll see it coming so getting getting FDA approval for implantable or devices of any kind is quite quite difficult and this will be a slow process where we will gradually increase the issues that we sold until ultimately we can do a full brain machine interface meaning that we can ultimately yeah this is gonna sound pretty weird but achieve a sort of symbiosis with artificial intelligence so this is this is not a mandatory thing this is the thing that you can choose to have if you want and and that this is something I think it's gonna be really important at a civilization level scale so and I've said a lot about AI over the years but I think even in a benign AI scenario we will be left behind and so hopefully it is a benign scenario but I think with a high bandwidth brain-machine interface I think we can actually go along for the ride and we can effectively have the option of merging with AI and this is extremely important and if you think about your limbic system and your cortex your your limbic system is kind of your primal needs and once it's like where you're a lot of your emotions are coming from and then the cortex is like the the thinking planning part of your brain and I haven't met anyone who yes who wants to get rid of either the cortex or the Olympic system so clearly they worked we're together well even though your cortex is in principle far smarter than your limbic system everybody wants to keep the limbic system and their cortex so hopefully we can have a tertiary layer which is the kind of a digital super intelligence layer and in fact you already have this layer so it's your phone and your laptop and the constraint is just how well you interface that the input and output speed so the Alpha speed is especially slow since most people typing with thumbs these days so you have a very slow output speed your input speed as much fast to do division but the thing that will ultimately constrain our ability to be somatic with AI is bandwidth so in in the limit after after solving a bunch of brain related diseases there is the the existential it's mitigation of the existential threat of AI or yeah this is the point of it so creating a well aligned future this is that that's the idea of nearly 100 billion cells called neurons neurons come in many complex shapes but generally they have a dendritic Arbor a cell body called a soma and an axon the neurons of your brain connect to form a large network through axon dendrite junctions called synapses but these connection points neurons communicate with each other using chemical signals called neurotransmitters neurotransmitters are released from the end of an axon in response to an electrical spike called an action potential when a cell receives enough of the right kind of neurotransmitter input a chain reaction is triggered that causes an action potential to fire and the neuron to in turn relay messages to its own downstream synapses action potentials produce an electric field that spreads from the neuron and can be detected by placing electrodes nearby allowing recording of the information represented by a neuron I rethought we play that twice it's so good you have to play it twice well I think it like a lot of people in the audience you know there's a wide range of knowledge about neurons I mean some people view the brain is like this incredibly mystical thing that cannot you cannot interface the brain but and then some people are aware of the brain simulation such as occurs for Parkinson's patients so try to try to address the broad range of understanding so I mean you're on essentially but like yeah there's that whole idea what if we were just a brain-in-a-vat this is often posed by philosophers except we are a brain-in-a-vat and that's it that VAT is our skull everything that you perceive feel here think it's it's all action potentials it's all just its neural spikes and it feels so real it feels very real but but it's it's this that these are all impulses from neurons what's called a a spike and a goal is to record from and stimulate spikes in neurons and and do so in a way that is orders of magnitude more than anything has been done to date and safe and good enough that you can it's not like a major operation it's sort of equivalent to just sort of a lasik type of thing so wait where you can sort of sit down machine does this thing and here you can walk away with within a few hours that's it and you know this you're not even in a hospital so so like this this basically it was a key points that worth taking away the system that we were designed in version 1 is capable of on the order of 10,000 electrodes so each each chip which is four by four millimeters is capable of a thousand electrodes or has thousand electrodes and we think during after 10 is feasible so this is in contrast to the the best fda-approved system which is like a Parkinson's deep brain stimulation a thing which would have on the order of 10 electrodes so the system even in version one that we're going to unveil today is capable of a thousand times more electrodes than the the best system out there and they're all read and write so this is this is really quite I think I mean for something to be a thousand times more than what is public approved is quite a big difference and and this will this will get better with subsequent yes subsequent versions as the slide may seem a little generic it was like everything's got robots electronics and algorithms at this point but no threads so the feel like I'm in transcendence there's actually I wasn't transcendence so that there's there's very tiny threads that are about about a tenth roughly of the cross-sectional area of a human hair so they're extremely tiny threads in fact the threads that we have it likes it even in version one are about the same size as a neuron so if you're gonna go stick something in your brain you wanted to not be giant you want to be tiny and to be approximately on par with the things that are already there the neurons so this is about the size of of a neuron the each thread and then you really need this to be done with the robot because it's very tiny and it needs to be very precise so you don't and you don't want to pierce a blood vessel so when you're in so each thread that the robot looks looks sort of basically through a microscope and puts a inserts each electrode specifically bypassing any vasculature you know any kind of blood vessel and and making sure it's inserted without causing trauma or minimal trauma yeah it's not zero but you won't notice it that's the important part you won't like you know yeah you won't feel a thing so and yeah there's obviously algorithms so just give you a sense of scale this is how tiny the threads are that is not even a big finger that is a small finger so that these threads are just like like I said we're small in their hair and as a thousand of them and this is what what the robot looks like as it's sort of quite quite a complex device but it I it all comes down to a very tiny tiny point so just like you see the robot the robots on the left and and then the what looks like the needles for insertion next to a penny but in fact that the the actual needle that gets inserted is way way tinier it's that little tiny thing at the where the arrow is pointing that's actually the size of the the needle it's about 24 microns in diameter extremely extremely small it's so small you can't really even see it within the picture with the penny and then this is a your radon uranium that's not really that's a car so you can get a sense for the robot doing the electrode insertion but that's a very zoomed in view so they're all very very tiny and the robot is very selectively applying them very delicately and and then this is what the chip looks like action potentials so the each one of those represents one electrode so there would be up to 10,000 of these these lines yeah so I guess like it's always difficult sake there's gonna be a list there's a lot more in this presentation so in terms of things I think are important to bear in mind this I think has a very good purpose which is to cure important diseases and ultimately to help secure humanity's future as a civilization relative to AI the threads are very tiny and there's a lot of them and they're very carefully placed and the the operation on aperture faces it involves just a two male two millimeter incision which is dilated to eight millimeters and then the the Chavez place plays through that and then retied it goes back to being 2 millimeters and you can basically shut you're in need of stitch so and then the the interface to the to the to the chip is what is Wireless so you have no wires poking out of your head very very important so you it's it's basically bluetooth to your phone because we'll have to watch the App Store updates for that one make sure we don't have a driver issue updating it so but the key is like this this is something that is gonna be not not stress for our girls not stressful to to put in should work well hopefully I would check it out very carefully before it becomes obviously FDA approved and I and it's wireless so you that this this I think has tremendous potential and we hope to have this aspirationally in in a human patient before the end of next year so this is not not far and then as I mentioned earlier this is the main purpose of this presentation is recruiting and we need very talent people in very talent all these areas so it's a lot of very challenged people are needed to make this ultimately successful and then speaking of talented people let me hand it over to max thank you I'm max Hodak I'm the president of of neuro-link I remember a couple years ago when we started talking about the idea of neural link and that there might be a company and whether this was even a good idea I mean my first reaction was that I wasn't sure that this actually was a good idea that the technology was there yet and I think it's Elam has this incredible like incredible optimism where help pierce through these imagined constraints and show you that really a lot more escaped a lot more is possible then you really think is today and you have to be very careful telling them that something's impossible it better be limited by a law of physics or you're going to end up looking stupid and so I so I've wanted to build a neural interface has really been like a central goal of my life basically as long as I can remember this is I think like we talked about AI being potentially the last invention that we have I think that I've been with BM I might be like really the first invention in many ways of like the next chapter of us it's just really cuz he long alluded to earlier everything about your experience or thoughts or memories it's all in your brain and represented in the firing statistics of action potentials so all right so just what is a BMI and we'll go through this really like fairly quickly I think so there's you start with hopefully a brain and a machine but the machine is just a stand-in for the outside world it could be it could be another brain it could it software it could be a robotic arm but you want to receive energy from that world and in part through the senses like vision and audition and impart energy back into the world through things like motor control and that that language that they use to communicate are they putting aside the hardware for a second it's very important understand what that is because people ask the code can I talk to my dog or I do these things but it's more to understand what that language is in that language in the most general sense is information to a first approximation everything is information but we just consider here the information represented in neurons and so consider two like toy neurons one so these lines are imagine action potentials and so imagine a neuron that fires very regularly like a metronome like this doesn't tell us anything there's no information conveyed in this signal we don't learn anything from it on the opposite end of the spectrum imagine neuron that fires completely randomly this also doesn't tell us anything this also doesn't carry any information now we know that this is these two degenerate cases are not what neurons do because if you fit a model from recorded neural activity to behavior of things like a cursor of a patient or a subject that's implanted and you correlate these then you can build a graph that looks like this and this is a figure from a classic paper and in this field from like the academic heritage in this field from 2003 I think that actually some of the authors of this paper in the audience today and you can see it's the x-axis is number of neurons and the R is the goodness of fit and you can see that as you add neurons the quality of the model improves this tells us that neurons care and their spike trains carry information about things here at asymptotes fairly quickly that's because what they were fitting here was just 2d cursor control which has simple dynamics and if you have tasks that are more complicated then you need more neurons so the classic definition of information is a difference that makes a difference it's just some piece of information or knowledge that tells you something it's like a very abstract concept it's such like information theory is such a deep rabbit hole if you haven't seen it before the original paper or mathematical theory of communication it's like it's very readable I highly recommend it you'll start seeing information everywhere it will totally change the way you view the world because the world is information as we've talked about before and understanding information also gets this question of well why do you have to have an implantable device why don't you have AG or wearable or an optical thing and the answer of course is like well what's like these are different information carriers and what information are they carrying and we know that like if you open it back issue of the Journal of Neuroscience and you won't understand how some species of bird encode sound localization or something you'll find a discussion of spikes and we as far as we know everything that we care about is found in the statistics of spikes so that's what we focus on there are other things like fMRI or EEG these are different information carriers carrying different information which we think is it which we believe is impoverished relative to spikes and that's the scientific consensus and so the question for all these different things is well what information is found in your carrier we focus on spikes that means we have to be inside the brain because the there's no ceiling that we're aware of on that with respect to that like grand vision of your perception your thoughts everything like motor output and you like reom budding loss limbs and so why does that mean that you have to be inside the brain so you want spikes well people have studied if you take a neuron and you put an electrode on that specific neuron so you have a ground truth electrical potential of the of that one neuron and then you place an extracellular electrode nearby which is what our electrodes and the Ute are a and other people are like we're not in the cell we're near the cells and then you measure how far away from a neuron can you be when you know what the ground truth spiking activity is can you no longer see the spikes and it turns out that the answer is about 60 microns which is like 0.06 it's it's very small it's a lot less than a milliliter so you have to be firmly under the skull like you're not there is no wearable that is going to get you spikes this is a physics constraint as far as we're aware and so now I want to I just want to talk about briefly that there's like nearly didn't come out of nowhere there's a long academic heritage of research here the cochlear implant has reached millions of patients since the 50s for deaf patients over a hundred thousand patients have received deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's and a central tremor and dystonia now other other indications and about twenty patients have received the Utah Ray which is a little hundred electrode rigid metal silicon device and even though it has very few channels they've been able to do some really cool stuff with it there's videos on YouTube of BrainGate patients doing things like controlling tablet computers or even texting each other through through Utah raised just from these the small number of electrodes and so there's many of the people on the team that normally came from this academic like this academic work I got my start working in a lab at Duke University studying the how mappings between brain and and like the screen space change so if you make it so that the joystick goes like the cursor goes sideways and you push forward instead of up like how does the brain change the representation so the point is that there are lots of people that have been looking at this problem from lots of angles for decades and we're in the greatest sense building on the shoulders of giants here and so the question is why not use one of those devices why not use a Utah or a deep brain stimulator implanted pulse generator and there's it's just in the Utah rate case the the rigid sharp metal electrodes produce a fairly strong immune response and this doesn't end up hurting the patient but it does mean that you lose the ability to record single spikes over some period of time usually between one and a couple of years there's also a big percutaneous connector through the scalp so you need to plug in big external electronics and you're never really confident that the risk of infection is is gone for the duration that you have the implant deep brain stimulators solve just solve a very different type of problem they are very effective for some Parkinson's patients but they have only a couple electrodes and they're really geared towards injecting large amounts of current not recording single spikes so they're really very different the DBS is really just a very different type of platform for a very different type of problem so we had to go back to the drawing board and start over to build something that met the goals that you on laid out for us we knew as Elin mentioned that whatever we build we wanted it to be completely wireless whoo you know what any connectors or wires coming through the skin it had to be something that would last for a long period of time not something that you have to take out at two three or four years in it had to have practical bandwidth so we talked about high bandwidth or ultra high bandwidth like what matters is that it for the task that you're after there is practical bandwidth that allows you to effectively do that thing whether that's cursor control or typing or robotic arm or maybe in the future vision and it has to be usable at home it can't be something that you go into a clinic at the hospital for two hours a week and under tight supervision of technicians plug you into the amplifiers and turn it on that's me saying that you can live with and so two and half years ago we were nowhere close to any of that this is a photo of some of the prototypes that we've gone through over that over that time so we started on the far left that's the entirely passive board that has 64 electrodes on it and connects two connectors that go to big external amplifiers and then we added integrated electronics with our first custom chip that's also 64 64 channels and then there is a big leap to the the device that Elon showed a photo of earlier that has 3072 electrodes and a fully implantable package with just a USB C port coming out and then we we took a step back in channel count B's room we have to optimize safety longevity and bandwidth all together and so in order to optimize some of those other things we moved to an easier to manufacture system as 1536 channels in a USB C port and those last two are the focus of the paper that we released today and so we've we've learned a lot from these record a lot of data through these like these are actually used every day at darlink to record neural data and work with it and they taught us a lot about the architecture that we think is the basis for our first human product that we're calling n1 and the central component of that is the n1 sensor this is it's a little hermetic package it's about it's when it's fully assembled this is missing an outer mold it's into an 8 millimeter diameter force millimeter tall cylinder and at each of these has 1024 electrodes and we can stim and record through through every one of those channels exploding it opening it up a little bit you can see the there's the thin film which has the threads that heal I'm talked about which is the wisp going off to the side there's a hermetic substrate and then that gets welded later to a package that goes over top and that's mated to our custom electronics and we'll go into more detail leaders that work on each of these talked about these in more detail over the the rest this presentation so yeah I mean this is just to not to belabor the point I know that Elon really hammered this in but these things are very very small they're like they're not you can't you can't manipulate these this is one photo this is not two photos growing together and you really can't manipulate these with your hands that that part at the top is just a backing material that's surgical packaging they're they're peeled off the threads were peeled off that one at a time by the robot to placed into the brain and then yeah and we had to build it a surgical robot and the first impetus for this is just you have to place these threads you can't manipulate these threads you need a robot and then that turned out too that grew into understanding where the blood vessels are and imaging into the tissue and the surface of the brain moves because you're breathing and you have a heartbeat and there's lots of complexity of dealing with this incredibly high entropy substrate and it's not all offloaded to the robot it's the robots under the supervision of a human neurosurgeon who lays out where the threads are placed but it would not be for the surgery is not possible without the robot and so the n1 implant we can place as Elam mentioned many of these possibly up to 10 in one hemisphere for our first patients for looking at for four sensors three in motor areas and one in a somatosensory area which are connected via very small wires tunneled under the scalp to an inductive coil behind the ear and that connects wirelessly through the skin to a wearable device that we call the link which contains a Bluetooth radio and a battery and this is importantly the only battery and radio in the implant so if you take this off the implant shuts off and if there's software upgrades or security issues it's much easier to upgrade the firmware on the pod than it is to try and change the implant it'll be controlled through an iPhone app you won't have to go to a doctor's office and have them have an exotic programmer to to configure it and the first thing that you'll have to do is learn to use it like mad if you've never had arms and then suddenly you have an arm and you have to pick up a glass on the table that's like not a cognitive task you just like how how do you you can't think your way through that and so it's kind of a trippy experience at the beginning where like patience at first it just kind of wanders around and then they figure out how to break the symmetry and they learn how to control it and and that's like a it's a long process it's like learning to touch type or play piano and so the for the first product where we're really focusing on three distinct types of control the first is giving patients the ability to control their mobile device B as we heard from over and over again from patient groups that if you have to have a care taker around the press buttons' for you what's the point you might as well have them do the thing you have to get self sufficient using using the devices on your own and then redirect the output from from your phone to a keyboard or a mouse on a normal computer it'll just show up as a as a Bluetooth mouse or a bluetooth keyboard like any keyboard or mouse that you can use on any computer and as Elon mentioned this is done this is a forward-looking statement there's a whole FDA process we have to go through we haven't done that yet this is this is like these are aspirations but we are working as hard as we can towards our first in human clinical study next year and again these are plans but the the primary indication for that will be complete paralysis by spinal by upper cervical spinal cord injury and we're expecting that those patients will get four 1024 channel sensors one each in primary motor cortex some at supplementary motor area and dorsal premotor cortex which or two motor planning areas and closed-loop feedback into primary somatosensory cortex which is like if when you type or or walk or pick up a pen you don't there's aren't visually guided movements you have your body has all these senses of where it is in space and pressure and temperature and lots of other feedback and and we think for really high fluent control you have to provide that back to the brain for the synthetic effectors also and of course fully Wireless and able to use it at home we think that there's a huge difference between something that you get to use two hours a week at the hospital versus something that you're living with every day and your brain is adapting to as much as the device is adapting to your brain and so to bring up the other other colleagues this team is like incredibly lucky to get to work with this team we're go into a little bit more detail on in that decoupling implantation from the electrodes is incredibly important the reason that you have these issues where things like these electric like a tungsten micro wires get rejected is they're stiff and they happen they're stiff and sharp and they they tear the brain and they have to because they have get into the brain and so if you can decouple the process of getting it into the brain from what is left there where it can be much softer and have material properties like the brain and maybe be coated in things that help the brain recognize it as itself that's that's really important and then the thin film polymer leads the threads themselves are really cool material science and and we're going to more deets on that and then we'll also talk more about the chips and then a little bit more on just the neuroscience of how information is represented in in firing statistics in your brain and so with that I'd like to welcome dr. Matthew MacDougall thanks max I'm dr. Matthew MacDougall I'm head neurosurgeon at neural Inc when I'm not at neural Inc I'm a brain and spine surgeon here in San Francisco at CPMC California Pacific Medical Center before that I was at Stanford where I worked in labs that have implanted and designed advanced brain computer interfaces I originally became a neurosurgeon because I wanted to help people live happier healthier longer lives I've been humbled in practice by how powerless we are to treat many of the most debilitating neurologic diseases people afflicted with spinal cord injury schizophrenia autism and a host of other neurologic conditions have far too few options I work with neural Inc because we for the first time in history have the potential to solve some of these problems before we get to how we get the device in we have to talk about the guiding principle at knurling safety everything we do at neural link is filtered through the question will this make me more likely to want to get one will it make me more like I recommend this to my family and friends this approach impacts every design decision we make so well for the immediate future knurlings devices will only be intended for patients with serious unmet medical needs our design philosophy is that this should be safe enough that it can be an elective procedure so what have we done to try to make it safe for starters we've created very small threads they displace a lot less tissue than the traditional methods in my regular practice today I routinely implant large deep brain stimulator electrodes into the brains of my patients they're big enough to have about a one and a hundred chance of causing a significant hemorrhage they displace and disrupt enough brain tissue that you can often see neurologic consequences just from placing the wire we can do better than that neural links threads are so thin that they're difficult to see with the naked eye they're much smaller than the width of a human hair they're small enough that a human surgeon can't actually implant them without help so we created help neuro-link developed a tool that were extremely proud of the robotic inserter inspired by designs conceived of in labs here in the bay at UCSF and Berkeley we developed this robot that can rapidly and precisely insert hundreds of individual threads representing thousands of distinct electrodes into the cortex in less than an hour this tool allows a surgeon to aim between the blood vessels they'll cover the surface of the brain with micron scale precision the region of the brain shown in this video represents only a few millimeters of surface of the brain as you can see the brain surface moves with the heartbeat and breathing the robot tracks and adjusts for this movement using this tool we can greatly reduce the risk of harming cortical vessels and causing bleeding here the robot is selecting individual electrode threads and placing them into the brain in the pre-planned location with remarkable accuracy and repeatability using this system we've been able to rapidly place thousands of electrodes into the cortex without causing noticeable bleeding we also have an in-house histology team that examines brain tissue to help us choose electrode profiles and materials to help us minimize tissue damage when you think of traditional neurosurgery you probably think of something very invasive traditional surgery on the brain isn't something that patients ever look forward to or are excited about except in the most dire circumstances usually a clamp is attached to the skull to keep it rigidly immobilized to the operating table we often shave all or most of the patients hair patients can end up with large visible scars at neural link we want to create an entirely different patient experience something more like Lacey no scars no big scars no hospital stays no short procedures sorry no hospital stays very short procedures and of course in the end you get to keep all your hair we even want this to be possible under conscious sedation that means you can get rid of the complexity and the risk of general anesthesia as well as many of the unpleasant side effects nausea sore throat from a breathing tube to be absolutely clear our first clinical trial patients are going to receive an experience much more like traditional neurosurgery but our aim is to simplify the procedure down to the injection of local anesthetic a very small opening on the skin a painless opening in the skull below quick and precise placement of threads into the cortex and then we fill that hole in the skull with the sensor allowing the scalp to be closed up over it behind the ear we'll make a small incision to insert the coil we will tunnel tiny wires under the scalp to connect the sensors to the coil that's the process I believe that neural ink is going to be able to provide us in the medical community with a platform that can finally enable us to treat some of these very difficult to treat diseases also to understand them better I hope you find this as exciting as I find it if you feel you might be able to help us don't hesitate to contact us to talk more about the technology behind all this I'd like to introduce Vanessa Tolosa director of our neural interfaces group hi I'm Vanessa Llosa I'll lead the neural interface group at neurolink our team consists of engineers and material scientists who are responsible for making the probes that get implanted into tissue the packaging for the electronics and integrating these two components together we also do all the testing and characterization of these parts before joining neural Inc I led a neuro tech team at Lawrence Livermore National Lab there we worked on a wide range of neuro first static technologies that were used both in the academic and clinical settings I decided to join neural Inc because I saw an opportunity to take all of this exciting work that we were seeing in neuro tech research and actually make them accessible to patients at a much faster time rate than what medical device companies have traditionally been able to do with that in mind at noir link we set out to create a fully implantable neural interface with thousands of channels that are capable of single spike resolution this device must last a long time in the body to do this it must be small flexible and made of biocompatible materials that will minimize the brain's immune response to protect the electronics from the caustic environment of the body it must have airtight packaging also known as hermetic Packaging the device must also be able to both record from and stimulate neurons this is essential for a highly functioning BMI finally the manufacturing process must be scalable and capable of making micrometer sized features consistently currently there are no research or commercial commercial devices that meet all of our requirements so we built one out of microfabricated thin film polymers just like in semiconductor chip manufacturing we use a layer by layer process that generally consists of three repeating steps we're either always depositing material patterning material through photolithography or etching away a material depending on the complexity of the design these steps could be repeated over a hundred times and to make things more challenging we are limited to materials that are safe for the body in our current design we have a three metal layer process that results in a five micron thick and 10 – my 40 micron wide probe to give you an idea of how small this is red blood cells have a diameter of about 8 microns and an average strand of hair is about a hundred microns yet in the small footprint we're able to fit our electrodes our wires and insulation for each of those wires with micro fabrication we can drive features down to the size of an electron beam so this is great because we want to make our probes as small as possible essentially we want it to be invisible to the brain but there are other factors that limit the size of our probes for example as we make the wire smaller it increases the resistance of those wires and as a resistance increases it makes it more difficult for us to separate our signals from our noise similarly there are other technical challenges and trade-offs that are related to higher channel counts and manufacturing yield electrode size and material and tissue much safety at neural Inc we have an incredible team that's been tackling these challenges and have been able to make high channel counts polymer probes in this image is a silicon wafer that holds 10 of these arrays these polymer arrays in this design each of those arrays has over 3,000 channels so what that means is in this one wafer we've manufactured over 30,000 electrodes and over 30,000 insulated wires this is something that can't be done with the way current medical devices are being made that rainbow effect is caused by the small feature sizes on these devices that are interacting with the nanometer what size wavelengths of light that are reflecting off of them if you were to zoom in on the ends of one of these arrays you'll see these this region where we put all of our electrodes so each of these vertical filaments that end in a loop is what we refer to as a thread and each of these threads can be placed independently into the brain using our robot during surgery this design is called linear edge it's one of over 20 designs that we've made for our R&D work we progressively been increasing the number of electrodes per thread without significantly increasing the width of each of these threads at the base we've been able to do this by adding layers and reducing the sizes of the of the wires down to as small as 350 nanometers this is less than the wavelength of visible light because we're using a lithographic process essentially if we can draw it we can also make it so on one end of our probes are the electrodes on the other end or where we connect the probes to the electronic package earth to the electronics through conductive feeders this substrate is part of the Hermetic electronics package standard methods of connecting the probes to the electronics package usually involves some kind of large plugin type connector or a polymer based glue that bonds the two components together but as we increase density and decrease the the footprint becomes impossible to receive to achieve hermiticity and standard medical device connect connectors this is due to several reasons one of them is how these substrates are currently manufactured hermetic feedthroughs consists of holes that have been packed with conductive materials and are embedded in an insulating substrate as you drill more holes and pack them more tightly together these brittle substrates typically made of ceramics become more susceptible to cracking also as you make the hole smaller it becomes more difficult to fill them with this conductive material without getting non hermetic voids standard processing also requires exposure to high temperatures typically over 700 degrees Celsius at these high temperatures the coefficient of thermal expansion or CTE mismatch between the insulator and the conductor can cause circumferential cracking or interfacial gaps during the cooling phase we're able to get around these problems by developing a new process so rather than making the probes and then the substrates and then connecting them together instead we micro fabricate them together into one monolithic component this provides a tight seal at densities that current methods with standard materials for medical devices can't achieve so far we've used this process to make a hermetic thin film substrate with over a thousand connections over a 2.4 millimeter by two point four millimeter footprint next we assemble the electronics and then also attach a wired lid using a laser welding process these two steps have required a lot of internal development as well the result is the sensor that's ready for final assembly and implant into the body next you'll hear from my colleague DJ our customer about our custom electronics Thank You Vanessa my name is DJ Shaw and I'm the director of implant systems and neuro-link my team focuses on building chips and systems to get neural signals recorded from our electrodes out of the brain and also to put information into the brain before neural link I was at UC Berkeley where I co invented neural dos which is a technology to power and communicate with small implantable systems using ultrasound waves typical chip life cycle from design to verification to tape out is approximately one through several years at neural link we had the ability to co.design or chip with the rest of the system and the tight feedback loop from this organization has enabled our small team of analog and digital chip designers to tape out a new design every three months on average that means over the past 24 months we've done eight papers in total representing 15 different chips that have been designed fabricated tested and used in development the artwork that you see on the top of the slide is of some of the actual chips that we've made so far for any custom chips we make the architecture can vary substantially but the basic ideas are the same neural signals recorded from the electrode typically look like the one on the slide and in order for us to extract the information that we care about we need to first amplify filter and digitize those neural signals and use digital logic to process and send out the bits we want for BMI we also need ways to diagnose any issues with our electrodes and be able to drive stem stimulation engine to inject charge to the brain when required our latest trip is called n1 system-on-chip and it is physically small measuring only 20 millimeter squares or 4 by 5 millimeters it is low power highly configurable and it has 1024 simultaneous record and stimulation capable channels and it has on chip spike detection to dive deeper into n1 SOC I like to highlight three key innovations and they are one analog pixel two on chip spike detection and three stimulation on every channel the first is analog pixel before we can convert analog neural signals into digital bits we need to amplify and filter them and this is where the analytical comes in we want to have one analog pixel per electrode so that we can configure them independently so in the case of N one SOC there are 1,024 an old pixels and all epistles also take up a significant portion of the physical space on the chip and how well they work determines both the signal quality and the characteristics of the overall neural interface the goal of analog design is the analog pixel design is to make it as small as possible so we can fit more as low power as possible so we generate less heat and have longer battery runtimes and as low noise as possible so we get the best signals now the challenge here is that these goals are at odds with each other for example we want to achieve lower noise on the amplifier so that more expects can be detected but as transistors get smaller it becomes harder to get lower noise while keeping the power the same or less since the start of neuro-link we've gone through three major revisions to the analog pixel progressively improving both the size and power while maintaining performance over the past 24 months we had seven fold improvements in the size of the analog pixel and our latest pixel on the right is at least five times smaller than the known state of the art of similar architecture with one pixel dedicated per electrode as published in the academic literature second innovation is on shift spike detection once the signals are amplified they're converted and digitized to zeros and ones by our on chip analog to digital converters as you'll hear in a second spikes or action potentials shown in this slide are often critical for certain BMI tasks currently there are several different methods for detecting spikes such as thresholding or more sophisticated methods such as principal component analysis a neural link one of the robust ways that we came up with is by directly characterizing the shape and it's worth noting that this is different than template matching and that it gives us more information in a general way in certain cases we can actually identify different neurons from the same electrode based on their shapes our analog pixel can capture the entire neural signals sample that 20,000 samples per second with 10 bits of resolution resulting in over 200 megabits per second of neural data for each 1,024 channels that we that we record in our previous systems that you heard about we were able to stream this entire broadband signals through a single USBC connector and cable and we performed real-time spec'd tection on an eight-core machine running our optimized decode now we wanted to completely eliminate connectors and cables for n1 so we had to modify our algorithms to fit into the hardware by scaling both making it both scaleable and also low-power and then we were able to also implement this algorithm in our n1 SOC our algorithms can compress neural data by more than 200 times and it only takes nine hundred nanoseconds to compute which is faster than the time it takes for the brain to realize that happened finally it was important for us to enable stimulation from every channel that we can record from and make it configurable and high resolution to make this work we custom-designed stimulation engine for electrical stimulation that can coexist alongside our analog pixels our stimulation engine has point to micro amp of amplitude resolution and 7.8 microsecond of time resolution there is a 16 to one ratio of electrode to stimulation engine so we can't stimulate every channel simultaneously but we can within each stem pulse usually in milliseconds and we can also stimulate any combination of 64 channels at the same time so in summary looking through our n1 SOC it has 1024 analog pixels that we can record from simultaneously with 7.2 micro volt RMS noise while only consuming 6.6 micro out of power it has on chip analog to digital converters on chip spike detection that can compress neural data more than 200 times and it only takes nine hundred nanoseconds to compute stimulation engine would point to micro amp of amplitude and 7.8 microsecond of time resolution and finally Diagnostics for electrode and impedance measurement all of these functionalities that I outlined are integrated into a single four by five millimeter silicon die next my colleague flip will tell you more about what can be done with these signals thanks DJ my name is Philip sabbaths and I'm the senior scientist at neural ink before neuro-link I was at UCSF where I was a professor of physiology there for 16 years I ran a lab that studied how the brain processes sensory and motor signals we developed new neuro technologies and we studied how to take those tools and use them for neural engineering applications today I'm going to tell you about how it is that we can use those amazing devices that Vanessa and DJ just told you about to communicate with the brain now specifically I want to tell you about two things first I want to show you that the work that we're doing doesn't come out of thin air we're building on over a century of neuroscience research and decades of neural engineering research these provide a solid foundation for the sorts of things that that we're talking about second I I want to show you why we believe that even more advanced applications are possible with more advanced devices now when Elon contacted me over two-and-a-half years ago now and told me about his vision for the company I knew that I wanted to join for these two reasons because I knew that the technology was at a point where with the right team and the right to right vision and a long term vision we could do the sorts of things that we're talking about and I knew that with that team we could do things that no one had even dreamed about yet okay so the first thing I want to show you is a video many of you who are seeing this I've seen videos like this before so you know what it is but if you don't know what this is I have the distinct pleasure of telling you that right now what you're looking at is the brain at work eat this is in fact traces of a bunch of electrodes that came off of one of our devices a bunch of electrodes from a single thread and each trace shows you a voltage waveform in time as it's coming off of one of those threads now if we focus in on one of those traces the first thing you may notice is that there are these big voltage deflections that happen periodically and these are the spikes that max and Ilana and others have talked about these spikes occur again when a neuron has an action potential and this is the fundamental element of communication within the brain and this is the thing that we want to tap into this is what we want to be able to record and as DJ just told you we have algorithms that can detect these spikes in real time as they're happening and that allows us to collect data that looks something like this this is what we call a spike raster so each row there represents one channel of recording and time goes from left to right and each of those little tick marks is the time of a single spike in action potential all right so presumably there's some information somewhere in there how do we get at it what are we going to do with it well for the first application which max told you about which is allowing paralyzed individuals to be able to control a computer what we want to do is we want to reach in two primary motor cortex and record the activity that's happening their primary motor cortex is the part of the brain that sends signals down the spinal cord and to the muscles to drive movement of course it does that with action potentials and in particular we want to record from the hand and arm portions of primary motor cortex so imagine imagine that you have a person sitting holding a mouse and they're sitting still and then they make an outward movement with their mouse and then they reach back what would you see in the brain well here's a here's a synthetic neuron I made data up but but it gives you the idea here's a synthetic neuron that shows that in the background activity when the person's at rest maybe there's some firing but when that neuron when that person reaches outward that neuron starts to fire a lot and when he reaches back the neuron becomes quiet so this is what we call a neuron that's tuned to a particular direction of movement now maybe we'll record from another neuron and this neuron may have a different pattern it may be tuned to the return movement and not to the outward movement so it fires more on the return what if we ask the person to do that movement again what we would see is a similar pattern of activation so the neuron on top still fires more for outward movement in the Brawn neuron on the bottom still fires more for the return movement but you'll notice that the patterns are different and that's because neural activity in the brain is random it has stochasticity which means that even though the person may be intending to do the exact same thing from one movement to the next the neural code the neuro representation at the level of an individual neuron is noisy and this is just one of the reasons why we need to record from lots of neurons in order to be able to gain a high fidelity readout of what the intention is so okay so let's say we record from a bunch of neurons it might look something like this if you look at that you might think that looks pretty messy and it's not clear what's going on but I'm gonna do a little trick I want to take those neurons I want to rearrange them so that they're in the order of the tuning that they have look just as I told you about those two neurons and if you do that look what happens now suddenly structure emerges and I think you'll agree looking at that but there's information in that stack of neurons that tells you about the movement and that's exactly we want to do we want to do that kind of magic in an automated way to read out and to read out the movement the way we do that is by building something that we call decoding algorithms these are mathematical algorithms that we tune based on data like these to be able to take in just those raster's of spiking activity and output the movement that's that the person wants to make okay so for these little fake data I built a very very simple decoder and sure enough it's able to to capture the intended movement this is what we want to do on bigger scale no you might say to yourself I don't understand your talk about moving but I thought it was about paralyzed people right so how does that work well it turns out we know from a lot of prior research but even if you're not actually making the movement even if you're just thinking about the movement or even if you're watching someone else make movement the cells and motor cortex respond in a similar way so we can build up these decoding algorithms just from from those kind of data and then a paralyzed person can think about moving the mouse and the cursor will move no this this kind of decoding has been done in a fair number of academic labs including my own before I came here and in humans and academic studies well what we want what knurlings goal though is to be able to do this with a clinical device that people can take home and use on their own and there's orders of magnitude more channels or orders of magnitude more neurons that we're recording from with that we think the people will be able to get naturalistic control over the computers not just a mouse but also keyboard game controllers and potentially other devices that's what we're trying to do now I've told you about the arm and hand area of motor cortex but the devices that we're talking about because of their high bandwidth and the ability to tailor the location of each and devote individual electrode to a person's individualized cortical anatomy we should be able to reach anywhere in motor cortex so for example there are areas at the base of motor cortex that are responsible for driving activation of the speech articulate errs there was a recent lovely study from UCSF that showed that from activity like that you can actually decode the speech so you can you can decode the movement of the articulator and from that you can create synthetic speech so potentially with a device like this you could restore speech to a paralyzed person who's no longer able to talk but there's no reason in principle that we can't reach all of motor cortex and that would give us access to any movement that a person thinks about any movement at all a person could imagine running or dancing or even kung-fu and we would be able to decode that signal so that could give a paralyzed person the ability to control say for example a 3d avatar that they could use for online gaming for sports it could allow them to control a wide range of assistive robotic devices and ultimately if and when the technology for spinal cord nerve or muscle stimulation gets far enough ultimately it could be used to restore that individual's control of their own body okay I've talked about readout but we remember we want bi-directional information we don't only want to read information out of the brain we want to be able to put it back into the brain now the some of you that may seem a little bit fantastical that you could write information into the brain but actually the basic building box of that technology are already there this is the same image that you saw before of an electrode next to a cell it turns out if you pass a tiny amount of current through that electrode what happens is that you activate cells nearby you cause them to to fire an action potential one or or many and that is the technology that is already being used widely outside the brain say for example for cochlear implants which have been used for decades to restore hearing to the death and more recently in the eye to restore vision to the blind in a fairly rudimentary way as I'll tell you more later but in addition you can use the same technology in the brain for example to restore the sense of touch or to restore vision and I'm going to tell you very briefly about those two applications so let's start with the sense of touch consider this little bit of tissue that of brain that I've just highlighted here that's at the border between motor and somatosensory cortex so if we blow that up what you can see is that somatosensory cortex has a very special property it has what we refer to as spatial spatial map and what I mean by that is that there are regions that encode the palm of the hand and each of the five digits for example so if we were to stimulate at one little location say in the thumb part of the cortex the person would feel a sense of touch of pressure on their thumb or if we were to stimulate two sites on the palm in the palm area of cortex you might feel a couple of points or touches on your hand this kind of technology has been demonstrated in in many academic labs and in a recent really nice paper it was shown that with subjects controlling a robot arm through BMI getting tactile feedback of when that arm or when the hand of that arm was grasping an object improved the ability to pick up and place objects with the robot so this is this is the kind of thing that can really help decoding so imagine what we could do if we're able to take our device and cover all of somatosensory cortex we could give rich sensation of objects of haptic feedback when you're manipulating objects we could maybe feel different textures but it's not just about improving the user experience it's also about getting to the level of functionality that we want imagine for a second imagine typing now imagine typing with your fingers anesthetized that's going to be pretty hard so that haptic feedback that sense of sensory feedback during movement is going to be important going forward and and yeah okay so that sensory feedback for the hand we can also potentially provide visual feedback so visual cortex just like somatosensory cortex has maps so there's a spatial map in visual cortex which is here in orange in the back of the brain so for example if we stimulate a particular point in cortex we might see a flash of light in a little punctate spot in front of us and this was demonstrated many years ago in in by neurosurgeons and it's been used in academic labs and that we call that little dot a phosphine and you know if you stimulate another area look at a phosphine in a different location so the idea here is that you could stimulate a bunch of different areas and you could create kind of like a doc dot matrix image of the visual world which could provide a rudimentary form of vision and there are academic labs and even companies that are working on technology just like this but there isn't just one map in visual cortex actually there are a bunch of different maps was a good example of how the brain works is a spatial map but there are also there also maps telling you about the orientation of edges in the field their maps telling you about color there are maps telling you about the size and speed of objects moving so what we want is a device that has sensors that are small enough electrodes that are small enough and high enough density that we can tap into that rich collection of maps with our stimulation devices so that we can do better than just dot matrix so that we can actually create rich visual feedback for the blind that's that's the long-term goal okay that's just again one more example of the way that these devices can be used so I've talked about recording signals and I've talked about stimulating you can combine those two to treat a variety of neurological disorders max talked earlier about deep brain stimulation to treat say for example Parkinson's disease and many people have have those devices in academic labs have recently shown that you can do better with stimulation you can treat better if you also are able to record the state of the brain say from motor cortex and use that to shape the pattern of stimulation deep brain stimulation or DBS has also been used for dystonia it already proved for dystonia and obsessive compulsive disorder and we think again close the therapies can do better and in fact for epilepsy there's already a commercial product that does this kind of closed loop seizure detection and disruption although it does it with only about eight electrodes there are many other sorry many other diseases Oh No all right we'll get there sorry there are a number of other neurological disorders where DBS has promised but it's still an investigational stage like depression chronic pain tinnitus now even though these diseases are currently being treated with these big DBS electrodes like you've seen we think that there's a potential here for the kinds of devices were we're designing to get individualized highly focused treatment that will reach broader patient populations and be able to be more effective in the way that they treat these disorders all right lastly I want to tell you about not just sensory input and motor output but about about thought so there are parts of the brain where we know that there's neural activity that encodes the things that you're thinking about and one great example is an area called the hippocampus the hippocampus is involved in memory formation and it helps store episodic memory things that you remember from your life it also has a particular kind of memory for locations and views that you know for example it'll have cells that represent places in your own home or in a city that you know well so imagine that you had that you could record from a collection of neurons in the hippocampus of somebody who lived in San Francisco and knew it well then it's likely that they would have some neurons there in the hippocampus that represent various locations in Golden Gate Park and so if that person were to take a car ride for example from the ocean through the park you would see those neurons fire in order as they took that that ride first to neuron that maybe represents a view of the ocean and then the Bison in their park and so on all right so I told you about the way that the brain represents information and that these these sorts of encoding methods representations in the brain are things that we can learn to decode and I've told you about some of the applications and how they might work as the device technology gets better and better and as we get more and more experience with those devices we and other researchers will be able to bootstrap off of those advances to reach other brain areas and other applications that's that's what we're trying to do Norling skull it's neuroscience has shown that a wide variety of information content is readily available in the brain we know for example that there are signals that encode speech and language there are signals that encode your mood there are signals that encode the sense of pain when you're hungry and when you're thirsty there are signals that encode your memories and even esoteric things like mathematical reasoning but knurling wants to do is to give people the ability to tap into those representations to get act better access to that information both to repair broken brain circuits and also to ultimately give us better access to better connections to the world to each other and to ourselves [Applause] all right thanks so we're gonna take a risk and just do some Q&A so that's hopefully was a good understanding of the brain forever yeah nice nice work guys like it's a very proud of the neuro-link team it's done amazing work and yeah it's a really smart smart group it was a lot more way with that if there's a lot more really smart people so what you're saying here is the outcome of a lot of hard work by the new Rowling team and yeah I think it's it's there's some pretty impressive stuff so we take some questions from the audience it's the lights are bright so you might have to like yeah just take you later this is this is a really interesting question so it's it's definitely too early to really think about this there's nothing any line I don't I think we'll hold open the custom code immediately yeah I think I mean it's conceivably that could be some kind of App Store thing in the future or some sort of platform with like a very rigorous you know verification of the application but yeah I mean I think that there cuz this is certainly not meant to be sort of a closed system ultimately if we can enable others to contribute will there at nunik or not that that would be a good thing you just add one more thing to this we've had some discussions like it might be that if you want to build an app or a business on top of it like a brain enabled API then your business model can't be advertising for example there's that's like it's very important to us but there's like that's that this turns out well for everyone and so there's there's thinking like that going on yeah yeah there's no doubt that that plasticity will make things the question was whether neuroplasticity will help or hurt our effort and I think there's no doubt that it will help first of all there's just the effect they have to learn how to use these devices but for example in work that we did in my lab earlier we showed that you can write in information that isn't perfect it doesn't get that map perfect or even it can be somewhat quite different from the map but ultimately you can learn to use that through plasticity and you know it's it so it's there's going to be a lot of learning required and the ability of the brain to adapt to new information in a particular the ability of the brain to take information that comes from multiple sources and merge it in an effective way is I think the kind of thing that really will will facilitate complex new tasks with these devices it's a sense reason that the the neurons are responding to electrical pulses so yeah as a the electrode is providing electrical pulses it's it to the neuron and electrical pulse is is a neuron it just thinks it's in your arm and it's going to for sure adapt dynamically because it just sees electrical pulses and it's it's going to respond to those [Laughter] we cannot do that that would be so the question is if this will not be advertising driven which I think would be unwise then how will it be paid for essentially is that correct or how will we ensure that it's broadly available yeah well I think that the cost of these you know brain disease or brain injuries is extremely high to society if you have to take care of somebody or that they need if they need comprehensive medical care or hospice that this is actually very very costly to society so I think it the economics of solving for that make a ton of sense and if you enable somebody to you know work and be a productive you know it could you know can rivet contrary to the economy I think that that will I think that the economics of that will easily pay for itself and and then in the limit of course if you want to be symbiotic with with AI it'd be like I think it's safe to say you could repay the loan if with superhuman intelligence I think it's a safe bet so I think the economics this will work out and the first order is really just to make sure that it works and works safely and then and I think it'll really be via the option of other person but but it is critical that this be so as we've talked about for like a laser Glock device if if one has to be if this has to be done by a neurosurgeon it is it cannot be scaled there just aren't enough neurosurgeons so it must be just just as one one wouldn't want sort of like a hand operated laser for you know an ophthalmology situation you really want the robot doing it with precision the same thing goes for the Raynard face so sure yeah it says the question is have we implant the chip in animals and if so what are the results so I think first important to say that we regard you know any any trivalent plants even if it's in a rat as a very serious thing like so we care you even care about rats even though they have the black plague and everything you know so like the ugly have some karmic payback but but nonetheless nonetheless we're we care about rats so and then we're extremely sensitive with with with monkeys and we work with University of California at Davis for the the any of the monkey activity so and the results have been been very positive do you want to ever talk about I know this is this is a sensitive subject yeah but I think it is yeah it we definitely need to address the elephant in the room even monkey in early yeah I think that it's there's we wish that we didn't have to work with animals right that we just wish that wasn't like a step in the process but it but it is it's like it's a very important part in the researcher development process to produce better outcomes for human patients and improvements in human health and we're trying to be very thoughtful and and we follow the the three hours of like reduction replacement and refinement of laboratory animal medicine and and we try to be very careful and thoughtful about it and do it as efficiently as possible because we believe that the benefit to humanity is is in the end like about the benefits outweigh the negatives but the question are also asked about the results and there is a paper available I think now soon that has some of the results in them yeah I mean but we have made a uh you know monkey has been able to control the computer with his brain just yeah why I didn't really started running that result today but there goes the long he's gonna come out of the bag so much fun a point over yeah so can you speak about the FDA path that we want to pursue and how we might work with the scientific community I guess yeah sure it's it well should we start left yeah well I was also say that we're under no illusion that we think we can do all of the science required for this ourselves like there's an immense amount of neuroscience to be done with these devices and there's a huge amount that we have to learn about the brain and and that's gonna be a much larger thing than just neural ink and we want to get these tools into the hands ventually at the right time I think that words are still very small company just focused on getting our first patients and we have to be laser focused on that but we want this to be a thing that is much larger lean this be a field right we want this to really fuel advancement of the field because the most important thing is not that like neural link is this like one specific place but that it advances all of us and for the for the FDA there's there's a pathway we're pursuing an early feasibility study IDE and it's and and there's the the FDA actually put out draft guidance in February that's very specific to the type of thing we're doing and it's pretty prescriptive it's it's a checklist of what they want to see and and there's a lot in it you have to show that it's going to be expected to be safe and biocompatible and and stable but you work through that and you give them the documentation it people in academia right now quite constrained in working with the the Ute are a is that that's the most advanced thing in academia and our system is at least a hundred arguably a thousand times well it'd be on the order of 100 I suppose relative to the potential of the Utah Ray tours of magnitude improvement at the experimental level so I think it probably would make sense for us to make more of the robots and provide the chips to academia to further the science sure talked me to see sort of accelerate your development what is the best way what is the best way for academics get in touch with us to collaborate on furthering the field and and yeah I guess first if anybody out there has technologies or ideas that they haven't heard us talk about today and if they think could be useful for us they should reach out and tell us about it we're always interested in new technology and new things that are happening in the field so that's a first as far as getting the academic community access to data for example this is something that we are committed to doing the details the pathway on that aren't are fully worked out there a number of options and to be honest if you have ideas about ways that anyone in the academic community thinks that it would be good to engage with us we're willing to listen and we'll well pick one or two and we'll we will make it possible for the technology that we're working on to have a very broad impact on the field that's definitely one of our goals yeah I mean the things that really drive the technology are you know advancing that the chip design the the software on chip and for interpretation of the results material science for the especially for the coatings of the electrodes like how do you have a long life electrode is it's quite a difficult thing to get get that coding get the materials right and then the application materials for the Mayo set something that you you you want to be because you want these electrodes to last for many decades I in the brain but the is quite a difficult environment it really wants to corrode so at getting the right the right coatings is incredibly difficult it's a tough material science problem sure right dude do we consider the longevity a solve problem definitely not so I think the longevity is one of the key questions and they supposed to say like until you actually happen implanted it how long does it last and then if it if it does if it does start failings as a failing a benign way or in a bad way so I think the it's there's not enough time yet to actually say whether it is a long time with the network obviously makes sense to have accelerated life testing of the electrodes so in in a non brain situation so you figure out something that's actually a worse environment in the brain and actually which is actually quite a difficult environment for a chip so and electrodes you find something it's even worse and have accelerated life testing that's that's one of the key things and then they need to confirm that in and in in a actual brain so I mean the the latest results are quite promising but it's it's too early to reach conclusions conclusions I think we've just recently seen what we think is a rock will break through but we're time will tell I'm sure I can see how will we address the mechanical mismatch of the electrodes and the brain essentially because the cells are like jello and electrodes are really hard and so they have a big stiffness difference between brain cells and metal electrode yeah yeah I mean that's part of the reason one of the reasons why we went towards flexible materials like there are a lot of different kinds of probes out there right now if you look it up and that's that's the main purpose of going flexible and also going smaller so as I said that we're really trying to make it as invisible to the brain as possible and then on top of that as was mentioned coatings so all those combined we're hoping to significantly decrease that immune response but essentially have if you have something with high modulus and something with low modulus but if you make you make the high mala just thing very thin it becomes quite flexible yeah moment of inertia I said I'll try to answer question with the back there I could talk to me to see behind the camera so if you stimulate the entire letter at one time so I think if I sometimes a question like essentially if we look at like higher-order feedback where it's sort of at the maybe whole limb level or combination of limbs or a whole word or letter as opposed to an individual phosphine or something like that okay I think that of course that's a stimulation result not a recording result and it may have something to do with the kind of low resolution of the stimulus that the psychophysics of that it's hard to perceive it as a complete letter but you get filling in of motion that helps you perceive the object I that's kind of sort of my thinking of what's going on and so you know I think these are the kinds of questions that honestly we we haven't yet addressed when I talked about visual stimulation and the kind of rich visual stimulation we want to just to be clear that was aspirational and so you know come back and ask us in a little bit you know I'll answer yeah but there are it is the you know they are like individual neurons that you can't trace to particular names and concepts and people and you know at a kind of advanced long-term level I think people would have kind of like a few if two people had a neural link you'd be able to effectively have a sort of really high bandwidth telepathy or you know who actually technically going over radio waves but it would you could actually communicate at the sort of complex meme structure level using the Dawkins version meme yeah so then you really catalyze a new kind of communication it's sort of like conceptual telepathy essentially it also be consensual I'll try to answer something in the back yeah I can hardly see you but it anywhere anyone in the back there are basically Thanks haha okay what's your answer to what do you think we should do I mean we're open to ideas here the overarching objective is to make future better aspirationally and and you know hopefully not pave the road hell with good intentions I think the word hell is mostly paid with bad intentions though big question yeah I think that's it's it's a it's a big philosophical question what will it's hard to say what the future will be with something like this brain machine interface I I doubt that we would be able to eliminate all suffering and it actually maybe ultimately hardly dystopian if we do it eliminate all all suffering if that actually may not be a true utopia you know there's at least those like generally like stories about utopia tend to turn into just hope yeah so I but I think we can definitely make a significant difference and we can address that you know when I say we have to get I mean humanity can't address a lot of the suffering that occurs in the world and make things a lot better and I think a lot of it a lot of times people are quite sort of neg about negative about the present and and about the future but really I think if if you're a student of history the you when would you when else would you really want to be alive knows now's the best time pretty much yeah it's like those who think the past is better I'm not read enough history okay we're in the back there I see actually you can see a hand yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah I think that teacher should show this but so so no you often have very tight latency constraints in this yeah they have to run locally yeah so the question is how are we doing the backend computation what are some of the methods that we're doing it yes max just mentioned latency is something that we do I want to minimize as much as possible especially in the context of doing closed loop PMI so being able to record and also stimulate and put information back into the brain so in order to make sure that that latency between the end-to-end system is minimized we need to have all that computation locally so that's you know one instance of the evidence of spite detection that you saw that's slowly progressed from you know computation on to from the computer on to the integrated trip is something that we strive to do as well with close love PMI algorithms yeah I mean is essentially the the vast amount of computation is actually done locally on an ASIC effectively so the amount of data that needs to be communicated yeah beyond the body or the brain is really distilled down to a small amount and and as these are saying like especially important for if you if you want to say it gives on who's a tetraplegic the ability to type at 40 words minute which is one of our goals and that that requires a very very low latency feedback loop I think okay that last question okay go yeah far away okay this is a few questions packed in there so one of the first question was I mean if it actually I mean essentially summarize what we're saying is like what's the ratio of electrodes to neurons because you wouldn't want a one-to-one ratio because that's a lot of electrodes so you really want to actually have that ratio of Hijaz as big as possible and ideally at least a hundred to one ask maybe a thousand to one ideally so because the big of the ratio of neurons to electrodes the fewer implantations it's going to be just way better so for sure you'd want what you'd want to to read a whole bunch of neurons and then be able to stimulate neurons and or a cluster of neurons by varying the field potential so that you don't you don't need to have a one-to-one stem or read ratio what you go ideally 100 to 1 because 1 I yeah I think it's important to add to that that any answer we give to what's the right number of electrodes at this point is speculation yeah that's that's part of the coming speculate yeah but but but but the point I'm trying to make though is that this bootstrapping that we anticipate is going to happen we're gonna put in devices they're going to be lower-level from that we'll be able to find out the information content and information density in the areas that we're looking at with the electrodes we have and will and we'll be able to bootstrap up from that so you know I actually believe that we are the ones that are going to be able to answer that question without speculation and I'll say when you look at the anatomy of the brain the brain is mostly silent like if so it on average a classic electrode can see somewhere between 0 & 4 neurons electrically by by different wave form templates but when you just look at the anatomy and like the distances you'd expect it to see more like a thousand and so this question of why is the brain so silent is an interesting one and one of the policies is that they have a lot of neurons that are very narrow receptive feels that only fired when they have very high information content updates with respect to something specific and one of the challenges of spike sorting is that you can't tell like you can't tell apart like another spike of a neuron that you think you're recording from with that was the first time I heard from that neuron specifically that I don't know is there right and as you have these long lasting chronic devices you'll be able to get more of that out in the decoding yeah I mean I think it's the kind of very the the electrode to neuron dense density is gonna vary quite a bit depending upon what part the brain it is as well if it's sort of sort of somatosensory sensory it's probably like a pretty big ratio and like you can like you can get pretty impressive results like controlling you know uh essentially a cursor with your brain is you don't need to buy me like electrodes for that so and there's a lot of neurons in the sort of motor cortex so I think if there's some cases where you you you could have all right this is really speculation of course I mean some of some places where you could have maybe 10,000 won and some places where you'd want maybe tenth one it could probably I suspect it will vary quite a bit I just really quickly I think Dan's question businesses or longevity is a really important question we think about all the time I I don't think that we're releasing histology in the paper today but I think that that just to put some pressure on this team I think that we're running that around as a phone probably there's some really cool stuff in progress all right thanks I'm overcoming okay great questions [Applause]

38 thoughts on “Neuralink Livestream – Full Talk w Elon Musk Q&A & Executive Team Presentation (Edited & Synced)

  1. I’ll be impressed when he starts using his technology to heal more diseases of the world 🤷🏾‍♂️

  2. I don't know if I missed it but did they mention it eventually being available to people that don't have a medical issue at some point in the far future? Like a commercial type thing?

    Also, did they mention how they will power the module that is in your head? They mention a battery but seemed to be talking about the pod behind the ear. I highly doubt wireless power could be used. You wouldn't get near enough battery life because it's extremely inefficient.

  3. What an amazing time to be alive. This presentation will be in the history books of future generations. I'm especially happy that this is spearheaded by Elon.

  4. This is just unhinged. How on earth will you make it legal to test this on a human?

  5. I have a terminal case of Hydrocephalus, as long with epilepsy. 14 brain surgeries (number 15 just got approved). Would this help my brain fluctuate fluid again without the use of my double VP Shunts?

  6. It reminds me to acer world, I will be waiting for this, and also for a guarantee it can not be hacked 😅

  7. hold on, if AI will be our last invention as the say (because once is up it will invent everything else) why exactly are we being presented with an interface for a "Future techology" and if the order of things are right that means that AI is already here, so how do we know neuralinks idea and inplementation wasnt AI idea already? with the purpose of controlling its destiny by controlling every human on earth? i guess THIS IS DIGITAL SPARTA!!

  8. A question that I have, and anybody with a background in Epigenetics or an association with Neuralink please do chime in, have there been any observed DNA changes in the rats and the monkey that have been experimented on thus far? I ask this question out of genuine interest, and hope experiments or observations can be made to determine what, if any, changes might have occurred.

    In terms of prolonging human health for future generations, this could be a very beneficial thing to learn.

  9. We are now officially entering into the Age of the Technopaths. It sounds like something straight out of the Comic Books, but I can't think of any other way of putting it. This is so flipping cool!

  10. I think neuralink will only be used by some rich people to get more rich, it will never going to reach to people who need these most, if you think it will reach all over the world it will only be possible by government support of those countries and I'm very sure about this 😊

  11. Testimonial…

    I show Elon & Jurvetson a scene w/ "Tractor Beam did you steal it?", "Ulterior Motive?" – "You'd have to keep me out of real-time in order to keep the tractor beam.", "This guy owns it", points to me and says "He got it back"… 5:39 PM Wed, July 17th, 2019… Daisy Ridley behind the seat, faced forward, behind Elon & Jurv & she transfers a response that it's "strange the way they locked." more information was discernable and was held at bay by trying to store it in the system out of view from the others while they take a pledge to maintain position based off of an assumed authoritative stance. The label futurist doesn't automatically mean survival.

    I ask about the accuracy of their system, which they have tried to argue before against me was infallible – little to no known common anomalies… that has been stated multiple times that Elon Musk could get out w/ common anomalies, yet he is thorough & supposedly would build a system w/ little to no mistakes, operating rockets is no small feat. He has been mentioned before as the "Terminator" in the gaming community up there within higher-society, the 1% – I don't play video games – and these people, in particular, have called him "The Kitty"… It is known about him that he plays games almost religiously, funny how is developing the video game community through AI + VR platforms enabled & tried to utilize Daisy Isobel Jazz Ridley as support( https://pin.it/2dfrn4s7xpghoj, https://pin.it/ixmxwc7xzwmcwx, https://pin.it/byhu5jztzravvf, https://pin.it/avooyrgaxsz6hm, https://pin.it/oxlr53bpy7wngr, https://pin.it/6xo34jz7toaumy, https://pin.it/h3hmysk7hdmmc5) + a set-up, stating she can "get out of it" w/ support if she "sides w/ them"… meaning the people who have operated Neuralink + Cyberdyne illegally in a prototype – thinking they would get away with it as they tried to make me a sacrifice – to rape the women of the triangle and some members of the public to make them cyber-sex slaves. She was out in the desert shooting Star Wars IX while they tried to convince her to side w/ them & she made repeated attempts to ditch despite the context being known but, they also made "death threats"… She actually brought her(Daisy Isobel Jazz Ridley) family & friends along to help support me.

    https://twitter.com/galaviz_ryan

    https://www.facebook.com/daisy.ridley.5454

    https://www.facebook.com/ryan.galaviz.775

  12. we gotta push Elon to make their recording data open-source.
    i doubt it would happen but i feel like the brain's behavioural patterns at the neuron level should be everyone's property. if any scientist would be open to that line of thinking i think it would be Musk.

  13. 1. Hope will not produce a Frankenstein effect
    2. Hope will not end up like Marvel scientists which in the end they always screw things up

  14. I love these people. These presentations that Elon creates are just fantastic to bask in. I am not a particularly technical person but I understood everything and I absolutely loved this. It inspires us all as to what is possible and it endears a hero of entrepreneurial innovation to an admiring world.

  15. Should this technology have an unforeseen detrimental impact to us, how easily can this be removed I wonder..?

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