Elon Musk’s controversial startup, Neuralink, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully implanting a brain chip in a human for the first time, as announced by Musk on his X platform. The operation, which occurred on Sunday, was reported to have been successful, and the patient is in recovery. While Musk provided limited details, he mentioned “promising neuron spike detection” as initial results.
Neuralink’s primary goal, as outlined by Musk in a post on X, is to develop a product named Telepathy. The initial users of Telepathy are envisioned to be individuals who have lost the use of their limbs. Musk highlighted the potential for individuals like Stephen Hawking to communicate at a faster pace than a typist or auctioneer.
The startup, founded by Musk, has been working on brain-computer interface technology for approximately five years. However, Neuralink faced scrutiny in 2022 when a monkey died during an attempt to engage the animal in playing Pong, one of the initial video games designed for the experiments.
In May of the previous year, Neuralink received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct human clinical trials. Following this, the company initiated the recruitment of patients with quadriplegia resulting from cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Trial patients undergo a surgical procedure in which a chip is implanted in the brain to record and transmit signals to an app. The initial objective is to enable individuals to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone.
As of now, Neuralink has not provided additional details in response to requests for more information. The successful implantation of a brain chip represents a crucial step for Neuralink in bringing its transformative technology from the laboratory to practical applications.