Elon Musk Will Try to Chip a Person For Six Months
Elon Musk at the event of his startup Neuralink said that his team is ready to test a brain implant on humans in six months. The chip will allow you to print on your computer and phone with the power of thought, without using your hands.
At the presentation, Musk showed how a chipped monkey controls a computer with the power of thought.
We’ve told here about the chipped monkey.
Elon Musk announced that his neurotechnology company Neuralink plans to implant a chip in the first person in six months. The implant will allow him to use the phone and computer without the help of his hands.
“We think that maybe in about six months we will be able to implant the first chip in a person,” Musk said.
He promised that the company would act carefully. According to him, the necessary precautions have already been taken during previous similar studies, when the chips were implanted in animals.
“We want to be extremely careful and confident that the device will work well before implementing it into a person,” the owner of the company said.
Musk noted that the company has already submitted most of the necessary documents for obtaining a permit.
“The ongoing negotiations with the US Food and Drug Administration have gone well enough for the company to set a goal to conduct its first human trials within the next six months,” Bloomberg noted, citing a representative of Neuralink.
At the same time, experts interviewed by Bloomberg warned that the type of brain surgery proposed by Neuralink is much more invasive (requires more intervention) than most other competitors in the industry. A piece of the patient’s skull should be removed and wires implanted into the brain tissue.
Neuralink has been conducting primate trials for years to prove that surgery is safe and that the device can stay inside the brain for a long period without causing harm.
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What the new chip is capable of
The head of Neuralink demonstrated a video in which, according to him, a monkey with a chip implanted in the brain performs “telepathic actions.” It wrote on the keyboard “Can I have some sweets, please?”, controlling the cursor with the help of its brain.
“It moves the cursor with its mind. But actually it [the monkey] can’t write. Do not overestimate this device,” Musk said.
According to him, these chips are so small that they are difficult to detect.
“Hypothetically, I could implant a Neuralink device in you right now, and you wouldn’t even know,” Musk joked.
Neurolink’s vice president of implants DJ Seo said that the chip will be wireless and rechargeable. According to him, production has already been launched in Austin, Texas, and a test clinic has begun to be built, where a robot surgeon will be involved. Robot prototypes were also presented at the event.
Prospects of use
Musk said that the purpose of the new device is to help people affected by the consequences of a stroke. Thanks to the chip implanted in the brain, they will be able to communicate, expressing their thoughts through a computer.
Neuralink’s scientists have been working on this development for several years. In April 2021, the company showed a video showing a monkey with two implanted chips playing virtual ping pong. Neuralink noted that their device converts brain activity into commands.
Musk also talked about working on two other products. One of the implants being developed will allow restoring the ability to move in a person suffering from paralysis, and the other is designed to improve or restore vision.
“As incredible as it may sound, we are confident that it is possible to fully restore the functionality of the human body with a severed spinal cord,” Musk said.
In 2017, in an interview with the website Wait But Why, he said that his company could in the future create a technology that allows exchanging thoughts at a distance without talking.
The Neuralink startup was created by Musk in July 2016 to combine the efforts of leading experts in the field of developing neural interfaces and creating robots that allow implanting an almost unlimited number of electrodes into the brain in a fully automatic mode.
The company plans to first create a neuro interface for people with brain pathologies and serious injuries, and in the second stage to start developing chips that allow the human brain to compete with artificial intelligence.
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