Would you let Elon Musk put a chip in your brain? Because someone has. The billionaire’s neurotechnology company Neuralink has reached a major milestone by successfully implanting its first human patient with a wireless brain-computer interface chip, Musk announced on X.
The first human received an implant from @Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well.
Initial results show promising neuron spike detection.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 29, 2024
According to Musk, the patient has been recovering well since the surgery and Neuralink has already detected “promising neuron spikes” from the embedded device. With electrodes implanted directly into the brain, the chip aims to transmit neural signals wirelessly to computers and mobile devices.
The world’s richest man said Neuralink’s first product would be called Telepathy. Musk said it would, “enable control of your phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking. Initial users will be those who have lost the use of their limbs.”
He added: “Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal.”
The breakthrough comes on the heels of Neuralink receiving FDA approval last year to begin human clinical trials testing the safety and feasibility of its implantable brain chip technology. The company ultimately hopes to use the brain-machine interface to restore sensory and motor functions in people with disabilities, treat neurological conditions like dementia and depression, and even enable telepathic communication.
However, Neuralink’s animal research has sparked ethical concerns from critics who argue the experiments have been invasive and deadly for monkey test subjects. The company will need to convincingly demonstrate both the medical necessity and safety of its human trials. However, the first successful patient implant suggests the start-up may be on the verge of a neurotechnological leap that substantially expands treatments for paralysis, blindness, and other disabilities by translating brain signals into digital commands.
With major investments from Musk, Neuralink aims to charge ahead of competitors like Synchron, which conducted the first clinical trial of a similar brain-computer interface last year. As brain chip technology continues rapidly advancing, Musk projects that one day Neuralink’s devices could radically enhance cognition and blur the lines between biological and artificial intelligence.
Featured Image: Dall-E
The post “Neuralink: Elon Musk says first human has been implanted with brain chip” by Sam Shedden was published on 01/30/2024 by readwrite.com