Elon Musk has many ambitious plans for the world: trips to Mars via SpaceX. “Everything Program” via Twitter. Brain implants that can transmit human thoughts via Neuralink.
According to Musk, this ultimate goal is one step closer to being realized.
Neuralink, founded by Musk in 2016, plans to implant devices in the human brain that allow people with neurological diseases to control computers or robotic limbs with their minds. Musk also said he wants to “achieve some kind of symbiosis with artificial intelligence” and perhaps establish a telepathic connection with the device.
Musk says human trials are expected to begin in 2023, pending regulatory approval, but the company has previously pushed back the start date.
Here’s what we know about the company’s brain implant technology and its ambitions.
Neuralink:Elon Musk introduces brain implant technology to treat health conditions, enable telepathy
What is Neuralink used for?
Neuralink’s brain-computer interface, or BCI, will allow people to wirelessly control a computer or mobile device “just by thinking about it,” according to the company’s website.
The technology is primarily aimed at serving people with paralysis and other neurological conditions, although Neuralink eventually wants to roll out a product with non-medical applications.
Neuralink’s “show and tell”:What we know about the beginnings of the brain implant.
Is Neuralink FDA Approved?
Neuralink has yet to receive approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to implant its technology in humans, but Musk says he expects approval in the near future.
The billionaire said during a show-and-tell event on Wednesday that the company has submitted most of the required documents to the FDA.
“We think we’ll probably have our first Neuralin in a human in about six months,” Musk said, adding that he eventually plans to implant himself.
But Musk and company have made wrong predictions before.
In 2019, executives said they aimed to begin human clinical trials in 2020. In April, Musk said the company was on track to launch so far. End of 2022.
Elon Musk’s Neuralink:The company plans to implant chips in the human brain to treat neurological diseases
What does Neuralink do?
Neuralink’s plan is for a surgical robot to insert a device into the areas of the brain that control movement. The device will then process and transmit neural signals, allowing the user to control the keyboard and mouse with their thoughts.
Neuralink’s website says it aims to build a system that is “safe, fully implantable and cosmetically invisible.”
Does Elon Musk own Neuralink?
Eight founding members, including Musk, launched Neuralink in 2016. Since then, according to Reuters, all but Musk and one other co-founder have left.
Musk also runs Twitter, Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company.
Is Neuralink testing with monkeys?
According to the Neuralink website, the company works with monkeys and pigs.
The animal rights nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine filed a lawsuit earlier this year against the University of California, Davis, over brain experiments it conducted on 23 monkeys for Neuralink.
The complaint accuses the university of failing to provide adequate veterinary care to the dying monkeys.
Neuralink euthanized eight animals on its website. Two were euthanized at scheduled deadlines for “critical histological data,” one for device failure, four for suspected device-related infections, and one for a surgical complication with BioGlue.
Neuralink said it is developing new surgical protocols for future surgeries in response.
“We are absolutely committed to working with animals in the most humane and ethical way possible,” Neuralink said in a blog post. “While the facilities and care at UC Davis meet federally required standards, we wanted to completely improve those standards when moving animals to our in-house facilities.”
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