Elon Musk on Monday announced that the first human patient has received a brain implant from his startup, Neuralink – which according to Musk “Enables control of your phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking.“
“Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal,” Musk continued.
Enables control of your phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking.
Initial users will be those who have lost the use of their limbs.
Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 30, 2024
(And imagine how many more alleged orgies Hawking could attend!)
The Neuralink brain implant, called Telpathy, was designed to help people with traumatic brain injuries operate electronic devices only with their thoughts. It uses ultra-fine “threads” to help transmit signals. In May, the company received FDA approval to conduct human trials in a study which uses a robot to surgically place a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant in an area of the brain that controls our ability to move. The company announced late last year that it was recruiting patients with quadriplegia caused by cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Musk said that the initial results of the implant “show promising neuron spike detection.”
The first human received an implant from @Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well.
Initial results show promising neuron spike detection.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 29, 2024
According to Kip Ludwig, co-director of the Wisconsin Institute for Translational Neuroengineering at the University of Wisconsin, ‘neuron spike detection’ means the company is receiving data from the patient’s brain, Bloomberg reports, adding that monkeys with the implants have been able to play computer games with their brains alone.
For several years, Musk has said that implanting a human with his device was imminent. In July 2019, he predicted surgery in a human head by year’s end. Meanwhile, other companies such as Synchron moved ahead implanting their own devices into human brains, opening Neuralink to the suggestion it was falling behind. Monday’s news will likely blunt that criticism.
The long timetable underscores how tough the task ahead is for Neuralink. The startup’s chips aim to go less than 2 millimeters into the brain. That’s still deeper than many other systems, such as the one in development from Precision Neuroscience, which sits on top of the brain tissue. -Bloomberg
Last June, Neuralink was valued at around $5 billion.
Hopefully the socialists don’t start a Borg collective.
There’s this thing tho pic.twitter.com/wuPp6d1JQU
— Satoshi Club (@esatoshiclub) January 29, 2024