◎Our reporter Zhang Jiaxin

  On February 20, Elon Musk said on social media

In this regard, the British "Nature" website reported that some researchers believe that this is not a major innovation.

At the same time, they questioned the safety and confidentiality of the device.

  Samuel Sheth, a neurosurgeon at Baylor College of Medicine in the United States, said that the company "only shares the parts they want to make public" and that "there are a lot of concerns in society about this."

  Liu Shiping, chief scientist and researcher of brain science at the BGI Institute of Life Sciences in Shenzhen, said in an interview with a reporter from Science and Technology Daily that the current brain-computer interface (BCI) technology is still in the initial stage of research. For the sake of safety, participants should remain open and transparent. Research attitudes.

Criticism for lack of transparency of information

  Last August, two studies published in the journal Nature showed that artificial intelligence (AI) implanted in the brain in the form of a high-performance BCI can decode brain signals and provide voices to people who have lost their natural ability to communicate.

The "Nature" website reported that "Neural Connection" is expected to be able to replicate some of these results soon, but due to limited information disclosure, it is difficult for the outside world to estimate its progress.

  Neural Connect also makes a surgical robot for implanting BCI devices into the brain.

But the company has yet to confirm whether the system will be used in the first human implant.

Additionally, there are few details about the first patient to receive a transplant, although the company's volunteer recruitment brochure says that people who are quadriplegic for certain reasons "may be eligible."

  The researchers believe that at this stage, what is more important is the safety of the equipment and surgery.

Although Neural Connection has posted videos of the surgery online, little is known about the system's first clinical use.

  The American Interesting Science Network reports that some scientists are disturbed by this lack of transparency.

Sharing clinical trial information is important because it helps other researchers understand areas relevant to their research and can improve patient care.

  Liu Shiping pointed out that the biggest concern is the current confidentiality of the technology.

BCI technology participants should maintain an open and transparent research attitude, not only for the safety of research, but also for the common progress of the entire field.

"Drip-drop" disclosure of information causes dissatisfaction

  "Scientific American" magazine reported that John Donoghue, a BCI expert at Brown University in the United States, said that he did not like Musk's practice of "drip-by-drip" disclosure of information on social platforms.

  Interesting Science Network quoted researchers from the Hastings Center, a bioethics think tank, as warning that Musk's "practice of releasing scientific information through press releases is becoming more and more common, but this is not science."

They advise against relying on people with a large financial interest in research findings as the sole source of information.

In addition, Neuralink’s private equity model may create conflicts of interest.

For example, while a company ceases operations, issues of patient welfare and support remain.

  Liu Shiping said that judging the progress of the trial only through one person's vague description is obviously not conducive to the development of the entire industry.

There is still a distance to achieve a major breakthrough

  Bolu Ajiboye, a BCI researcher at Case Western Reserve University in the United States, believes that humans using their minds to control the mouse is nothing new.

The first human to receive a long-term BCI implant successfully did this in 2004, and nonhuman primates have been doing so even earlier.

  Performing this task also does not require data from individual neurons.

New York BCI startup Synchron's device is placed in the brain's blood vessels and records the average firing of a population of neurons. It also enables mouse control and left-click functions; even external, scalp-based recording systems can provide users with basic mouse control. control.

  Liu Shiping said that Neural Connection’s current contribution to the BCI field is worthy of recognition.

However, he does not believe that the company's technology is a major breakthrough in BCI technology because its software and hardware do not break through the existing BCI paradigm.

  "In layman's terms, their method is still the old method, but it is better than others in terms of engineering technology. The strong mentioned here is only relative, compared to the biological brain." Liu Shiping said, "'Neural Connection' Company The density and quantity of hardware are still far from enough, and the efficiency of software algorithms is far different from that of the real brain."

  Liu Shiping believes that an important factor currently limiting the development of BCI technology may be that people still cannot understand how the brain works.

Therefore, the real major breakthrough in BCI should be a breakthrough in neurobiological understanding of how the brain works, and then innovate the way BCI software and hardware work, making it more similar to the way the biological brain works.