Elon Musk’s Neuralink Tests Brain Chip in Humans
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has successfully implanted a chip developed by his brain-computer interface company, Neuralink, into a human brain.
On January 30, Musk announced on his social platform, X (formerly Twitter), that the first human recipient of Neuralink’s implantation was doing well and showing promising initial results in neuronal spike detection.
Musk further stated, “You can control your phone or computer with your mind and use them to control almost any device. The initial users will be individuals who have lost their limbs. Imagine the communication speed of someone like Stephen Hawking being faster than a typist or auctioneer. That’s our goal.”
Musk also introduced Neuralink’s first product, called “Telepathy.”
Founded in 2016, Neuralink currently has over 100 employees and aims to implant computer chips into the human brain through surgery, connecting the human brain to electronic devices. By using electrical currents to create “interactions” between computers and brain cells, the company seeks to help paralyzed patients regain mobility, treat brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and restore vision for the blind.
In 2019, the company first announced testing its devices on monkeys. The following year, they showcased a pig with their device implanted and made some design modifications. In 2021, Neuralink released a video showing a monkey with their implanted device playing video games through telepathy, causing a huge sensation.
Since 2019, Musk has repeatedly stated that Neuralink would soon commence human trials for brain-computer interfaces. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected Neuralink’s human trial application on grounds of safety risk. It wasn’t until May 25, 2023, that Neuralink announced approval from the FDA to initiate the first clinical study of brain implants in humans.
On September 19, 2023, Neuralink announced the commencement of recruitment for the first human clinical trial, targeting individuals paralyzed in their limbs due to spinal cord injuries or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”