Chip allowing brain-computer communication to come ‘before the end of next year’ — Elon Musk
Robie de Guzman • July 18, 2019 • 1488
Elon Musk’s start-up Neuralink is aiming to connect the human brain with a machine interface “before the end of next year,” the CEO announced on Tuesday (July 16).
Speaking at a conference in San Francisco, Musk presented ‘version one” of his neuron-sized threads and microprocessor chips that he claims will help people with severe brain injuries and eventually grow to allow humans to connect with advancing artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology.
The implantation of the threads, which Musk said are a tenth the size of a human hair, require the use of a special robot, but a minimally invasive surgery.
Once the threads are implanted into the brain, their connecting chip would wirelessly connect with a device worn outside the body.
Neuralink is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval and while Musk said his preliminary task is to help people with disabilities interface with computers using their minds, the end goal is to keep up with A.I.
Tuesday’s conference was designed as a marketing tool – Musk told the crowd gathered at the California Academy of Sciences that Neuralink was actively seeking out potential employees to join their team. (REUTERS)
Three people were injured in a Palestinian attack near an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, according to early reports by the Israeli military on Friday (August 23).
A military spokesman said the attack was carried out near Dolev, a settlement northwest of the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
“Three people appear to be injured at the scene,” the spokesman said, adding that troops were searching the area.
Israeli news reports said the wounded were Israelis, and that Palestinians had thrown an explosive charge near a water spring popular with hikers in the hilly central region of the West Bank. The first reports came shortly after 10 a.m. (0700 GMT).
Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service said it was treating three people in “serious condition”, including a 46-year-old man, a 21-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman. (Reuters)
Russia showcased to the media the world’s first floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov on Thursday (August 22).
Crew on the Akademik Lomonosov are expected to leave Murmansk for a long journey along the Northern Sea Route to Chukotka in Russia’s far east.
Rosenergoatom deputy director Dmitry Alekseenko said at a news conference that the main advantage of the new type of nuclear plant is its mobility that allows it to reach any point with demand for energy. He also said that it would do no harm to the environment.
Critics, however, warily recall Soviet-era nuclear accidents and Russia’s naval disasters such as the loss of the nuclear-powered submarine Kursk, which sank in the Barents Sea after explosions on board, killing all 118 crew.
In 2018 Greenpeace issued a statement calling Lomonosov a ‘nuclear Titanic’. (Reuters)
Bolivian firefighters continued battling on Wednesday (August 21) a series of wildfires ravaging swathes of the country from both land and air.
Using a helicopter to dump water on hot spots, firefighters also used dirt and sand to put out smaller flames in Santa Cruz. Television images showed flames dangerously close to the highway that leads to Brazil.
Bolivia’s government has reported that nearly 500,000 hectares of forest have been left charred from wildfires.
This week, authorities warned that 70% of Santa Cruz Department is under “extreme risk” from forest fires.
Environmental organisations have also warned of damage to more than 500 species of fauna, some endemic, after slash-and-burn tactics combined with dry conditions have caused dozens of forest fires in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday (August 21), President Evo Morales said measures are being stepped up to battle the fires.
Bolivia’s wildfires come as neighbouring Brazil also battles record-breaking fires in its Amazon. (Reuters)
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