Elon Musk’s Neuralink Achieves World’s First Human Brain Chip Implant Surgery
On January 30, 2024, Elon Musk announced through X that Neuralink had successfully conducted the world’s first human brain chip implant surgery the previous day. Musk expressed satisfaction with the initial results but did not divulge further details.
Neuralink, located in San Francisco, United States, was founded by Musk in 2016 with the objective of creating an implantable device that allows humans to interact directly with computers through their thoughts. The company’s vision also includes assisting humans in keeping pace with advancements in artificial intelligence and providing support for individuals with conditions such as paralysis and neurological disorders, enabling them to, for example, “walk again (by controlling mechanical limbs through their thoughts).”
The brain-machine product of Neuralink, N1 Link, is primarily enclosed in a biocompatible casing. The team has stated that this casing can withstand harsh physiological conditions and is implanted using specialized surgical robots. Additionally, the implant is powered by a small lithium battery and can be wirelessly charged using a compact induction charger. The device contains customized low-power chips and electronic components capable of processing neural signals and wirelessly transmitting them to the Neuralink application.
In 2020, Neuralink first demonstrated the wireless version of “N1 Link” on pigs, with the implants transmitting neural data to track limb movements. Subsequently, the company showcased the effects of neural implants on primates, particularly enabling a macaque to play “Pong” using its thoughts.
This brain-machine interface, which allows humans to interact directly with computers through their thoughts, can also be applied to AR/VR, integrating with and further unlocking the interactive potential of AR/VR. Ultimately, this may help in achieving an immersive virtual world akin to “The Matrix.”
In addition to Musk’s Neuralink, companies such as Valve and Meta are actively exploring brain-machine interfaces, including their applications in AR/VR.