Musk: Control mouse with thoughts

Elon Musk Reveals Success of Neuralink’s First Human Trial Participant

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, disclosed that the first participant of his brain-machine interface company, Neuralink, seems to have fully recovered with no adverse reactions. The participant is now able to control a computer mouse through thoughts.

Elon Musk

Image Source: The Paper

On February 19th local time, Musk shared on the social media platform X, stating, “The patient seems to have fully recovered without any known adverse effects and is able to control the mouse by simply moving it on the screen through thoughts.”

He also mentioned that the company is currently working on enabling the patient to “press as many mouse buttons as possible just by thinking,” including moving the cursor up and down and dragging boxes on the screen.

As Musk had previously introduced, Neuralink’s first product is called “Telepathy.” Musk explained, “You can control your phone or computer just by thinking and use them to control almost any device. The initial users will be those who have lost their limbs. Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a typist or auctioneer – that’s our goal.”

Established in 2016, Neuralink now has over 100 employees and aims to implant computer chips into the brain through surgery to connect the human brain to electronic devices. By using electrical currents to create “interactions” between the computer and brain cells, Neuralink ultimately aims to help paralyzed patients regain movement functions, treat brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and assist in restoring vision for blind patients.

One of the major challenges facing Neuralink is safety and ethical issues. Since 2019, Musk has stated multiple times that Neuralink would soon begin human trials for brain-machine interfaces; however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected Neuralink’s human trial application citing safety risks. It wasn’t until May 25, 2023, that Neuralink announced receiving FDA approval to initiate the first human clinical study for brain implants.

On September 19, 2023, Neuralink announced recruiting participants for the first human clinical trial, targeting individuals paralyzed in all four limbs due to spinal cord injuries or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”

Recently, Neuralink reported the successful completion of the first human brain chip implant with the patient recovering well. However, no detailed information about the first patient, including their disease or the extent of their loss of mobility, has been disclosed by the company.

The latest human clinical trial marks a step forward for Neuralink in its commercialization journey. According to the company’s latest filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in November last year, the company has raised at least $323 million in funding, leading to a valuation exceeding $5 billion.

News Source: Global Network, First Financial, The Paper

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