Starting with a paralyzed patient.. Musk expects the first experiment to implant an electronic chip in a human brain this year

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Billionaire Elon Musk expected, Friday, June 16, 2023, that his start-up company, Neuralink, would start implementing the first human experiment this year to implant electronic chips in a human brain, indicating that the company intends to implant chips in the brain of a paraplegic or paralyzed patient. complete. 

Musk’s remarks came in his speech at the “Vivatech” technology conference in Paris, and Musk did not specify the number of patients in whom his company would implant the chips or the duration, but Musk said: “It seems that the first case will be later this year.”

The company, “Neuralink”, which specializes in producing electronic chips that can be implanted in the brain, said last month that it had obtained approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct the first clinical trial in humans.

The experience is a landmark for the start-up, at a time when it is facing investigations in the US over its method of animal testing.

In a previous statement, the US administration acknowledged that it had allowed the “Neuralink” company to conduct experiments to implant chips in the brain, and to use a surgical robot in the experiments, but refused to elaborate on the details.

For their part, experts told Reuters earlier that if Neuralink can prove that its devices are safe for humans, it will take a few years or perhaps more than a decade to obtain a license for commercial use.

CNBC reported that Neuralink plans to place coin-sized implants in human brains, called “Link”, to allow the human mind to control complex electronic devices using only neural signals, which will help people with complete paralysis. to restore communication with their loved ones, by triggering these nerve signals and writing with their minds.

Neuralink uses a BCI system that decodes brain signals and translates them into commands for external technologies, and CNBC indicated that the extent to which the approved trial will work is unknown.

Neuralink is not the first company to work on computing interfaces that support the human brain, and it is not the only one either. For decades, teams of researchers around the world have been exploring the use of implants and devices to treat medical problems such as paralysis and depression. 

Thousands of people already use neuroprosthetics such as cochlear implants for hearing, but the wide range of capabilities Musk promises from his Neuralink device has raised doubts among experts.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments