Neuralink Successfully Implants Brain Interface in First Human Patient, Elon Musk Announces

Neuralink, Elon Musk’s startup, has achieved a milestone by successfully implanting a brain implant in its first human patient, demonstrating progress toward the goal of allowing humans to control computers with their minds. Named Telepathy, the brain implant aims to enable device control through thought alone, initially targeting users who have lost limb functionality. The success follows FDA approval for Neuralink’s first human trials and years of development. While the company has shown promise in neuron spike detection, commercial availability is not expected in the near term, and caution is advised against overhyping the technology.

30 January 2024 – Elon Musk’s startup, Neuralink Corp., has successfully implanted a brain implant in its first human patient, marking a significant advancement in the company’s goal to enable humans to control computers with their minds. The patient is reported to be recovering well, and the initial results of the procedure are promising, according to Musk. Neuralink’s brain implant is designed to assist individuals with traumatic injuries in operating computers using their thoughts. The company received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for its first human trials in May.

The brain implant, named Telepathy, is Neuralink’s first product and aims to allow users to control phones, computers, and other devices through thought alone. Musk envisions its application for individuals who have lost the use of their limbs, citing the potential for enhanced communication, as seen in the example of Stephen Hawking. While Neuralink has shown success in neuron spike detection, the company needs to demonstrate its capabilities compared to other leading players in the field, such as Blackrock Neurotech and Synchron, according to experts.

Neuralink’s experiments have included extensive tests on animals, where monkeys have played computer games using their brains. The startup’s progress with animal tests has raised concerns among some animal rights groups. Musk’s announcement follows years of anticipation, with the company initially predicting human implantation in 2019. The long timeline reflects the challenges Neuralink faces, aiming to implant chips a few millimeters into the brain. The commercial availability of a brain implant from Neuralink is not expected in the near future, and experts caution against overhyping the technology. – ref: Bloomberg

Author: Terry KS

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