Neuralink Completes First Human Brain Implant Surgery
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On January 29, local time, renowned American entrepreneur Elon Musk announced on the social platform X that his brain-machine interface company Neuralink had completed the first human brain device implantation surgery, and the recipient is “recovering well.”
“Brain-machine interface” is a revolutionary human-machine interaction technology that works by collecting neural signals from the brain and analyzing them to generate specific commands. This technology can establish a direct connection between the human or animal brain and external devices, bypassing the normal output pathways composed of peripheral nerves and muscles, facilitating direct information exchange between the “brain” and the “machine.”
The significant functions of brain-machine interface devices include aiding in the treatment of memory loss, spinal cord injuries, and other neurological disorders, helping patients with motor impairments and paralysis to regain the ability to communicate with the outside world, and even regain the ability to walk, thus improving and enhancing their quality of life.
Neuralink, established in 2016, focuses on the development of implantable brain-machine interface devices. The company stated that this device, when implanted in the brain, can read brain activity signals and is expected to be used for the treatment of memory loss, spinal cord injuries, and other neurological disorders, as well as to help paralyzed individuals regain the ability to communicate with the outside world and even regain the ability to walk.
Musk stated that the first product of the brain-machine interface company was named “Telepathy”. According to him, the first users of this product will be individuals who have lost the use of their limbs. He said, “Imagine that (with the implantation of the brain-machine interface device), Stephen Hawking’s communication speed may be faster than that of a typist or an auctioneer. That is our goal.”
In May 2023, Neuralink announced that it had obtained approval from the US FDA to initiate the first human clinical research on brain implants. In September of the same year, they announced the commencement of recruitment for the first human clinical trials, targeting individuals paralyzed due to spinal cord injuries or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”).
This news has sparked heated discussions on X, with netizens expressing mixed opinions. Some are looking forward to it, while others have been “scared.”
In recent years, brain-machine interface has become a research hotspot in areas such as ALS, stroke, and spinal cord injuries. Analysts generally believe that while the future looks promising, it will take time to materialize.
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Editor: Zhu Na
Initial Review: Liao Hui
Final Review: Shen Zhengrong