The Obtain: Neuralink’s largest rivals, and the case for phasing out the time period “consumer”

On this planet of brain-computer interfaces, it will probably appear as if one firm sucks up all of the oxygen within the room. Final month, Neuralink posted a video to X exhibiting the primary human topic to obtain its mind implant, which will likely be named Telepathy. The recipient, a 29-year-old man who’s paralyzed from the shoulders down, performed pc chess, transferring the cursor round together with his thoughts.

Neuralink’s announcement of a first-in-human trial made a giant splash not due to what the person was in a position to accomplish—scientists demonstrated utilizing a mind implant to maneuver a cursor in 2006—however as a result of the expertise is so superior.

However Neuralink isn’t the one firm growing brain-computer interfaces to assist individuals who have misplaced the flexibility to maneuver or converse. Learn on to check out a number of the corporations growing mind chips, their progress, and their completely different approaches to the expertise.

—Cassandra Willyard

This story is from The Checkup, our weekly well being and biotech e-newsletter. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

It’s time to retire the time period “consumer”

Individuals have been known as “customers” for a very long time; it’s a sensible shorthand enforced by executives, founders, operators, engineers, and traders advert infinitum.

Usually, it’s the proper phrase to explain individuals who use software program: a consumer is greater than only a buyer or a client. Generally a consumer isn’t even an individual; company bots are recognized to run accounts on Instagram and different social media platforms, for instance.

However “customers” can also be unspecific sufficient to refer to simply about everybody. It might accommodate nearly any huge thought or long-term imaginative and prescient. We use—and are utilized by—computer systems and platforms and firms. Although “consumer” appears to explain a relationship that’s deeply transactional, most of the technological relationships during which an individual could be thought of a consumer are literally fairly private. That being the case, is “consumer” nonetheless related? Learn the complete story.

—Taylor Majewski

This story is from the following journal difficulty of MIT Expertise Evaluation, set to go reside on April 24. Should you don’t already, enroll now to get a duplicate when it lands.

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