NewsFirst human gets Neuralink 'Telepathy' brain implant: Sparking new era or courting controversy?

First human gets Neuralink 'Telepathy' brain implant: Sparking new era or courting controversy?

The Muska company has implanted the first brain chip in a human.
The Muska company has implanted the first brain chip in a human.
Images source: © Getty Images | AYDINOZON

5:44 AM EST, January 30, 2024, updated: 4:39 AM EST, March 7, 2024

Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Neuralink the approval to conduct its first human trial of the implant. This breakthrough carries significant weight toward achieving the startup's ambitious plan of helping patients overcome paralysis and various neurological conditions.

In September, Neuralink announced its permission to commence recruitment for human trials.

The company has used a robotic system to surgically embed a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant into the part of the brain that governs the intent to move. The goal, according to Neuralink, is to empower individuals to control a computer cursor or keyboard merely through thoughts.

Introducing telepathy to the human brain

Musk shared on his X platform profile that the first Neuralink implant has been aptly named 'Telepathy'.

He describes the implant as something that "Enables control over a phone or computer, indeed almost any device, purely by thought."

The billionaire emphasized that the first beneficiaries of this groundbreaking device would be those who have lost some form of limb function.

Just imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a typist or even an auctioneer. That's the goal," he explained.

As Reuters reminded us in June last year, Neuralink was estimated to be worth around $5 billion. However, by the end of November, a request had been submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to examine whether Musk had misled investors about the safety of his technology. This followed after veterinary records seemingly disclosed that some monkeys implanted with the devices had exhibited paralysis, seizures, and brain swelling as part of the trials.

On September 10, Musk asserted in a social media post, "No monkey has died as a result of receiving a Neuralink implant." He added that the company had chosen to use "terminal" monkeys to reduce risk to healthier ones.


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