ARM announces a partnership with the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) to create SoCs that can be implanted into the human brain. The goal here is to create a bi-directional brain-computer interfaces (BBCI) to help people with neurodegenerative disorders. Full details about what they're working on can be read over here.
The BBCI chip is being designed to address stroke, spinal cord injury and other neurological conditions. People who have experienced a stroke or spinal cord injury often have health issues, such as paralysis, which can impact their quality of life by preventing them from moving parts of their body, for example, a hand or an arm.
The research project will design a SoC which is able to take neural signals from the brain that represent movements the person with paralysis wants to make; before directing those signals to a stimulator implanted in the spinal cord itself. This will enable the person to make the desired movements when they want to, effectively overcoming their paralysis. In the future, the device will also be able to send information in the reverse direction, allowing the person to once again feel what their hand is touching.
Where it gets really exciting is that projects like these are just the beginning of a whole new revolution of how we interact with the digital world, people and everything else around us. A great introduction on brain-machine interfaces (BMI) can be read at Wait But Why.
It's a really long article, and in this case long means 200+ Word document pages, but it's a great primer on what Elon Musk is trying to achieve with his Neuralink venture. After reading the whole piece, you'll have an idea about how the human brain works and what kind of advantages (but also dangers) a brain-machine interface can deliver.
Advanced BMI technology can solve a long range of disorders and illnesses, can give us much greater control over our own body and augment our capabilities, and promises to radically change how we interact with machines and each other.