Science & Technology
Neuralink brain chip has been implanted in a human for the first time
By T.K. Randall
January 30, 2024 · 17 comments
Elon Musk during a previous Neuralink presentation. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Steve Jurvetson
Elon Musk's ambitious brain-computer interface startup has carried out its first ever human brain implant procedure.
Having previously been described by Musk as an answer to the existential threat of an artificial intelligence surpassing our own capabilities, Neuralink's work in enabling people to control computers using nothing but their own thoughts has certainly raised a few eyebrows in recent years.
At a glance, it may seem like an unnecessary exercise in dabbling a bit too far beyond the line that most people are likely to feel comfortable with, yet it does have the potential to make great strides in improving the lives of those with a variety of debilitating medical conditions ranging from locked-in-syndrome to paralysis.
It could also make it possible to enhance the human condition, providing 'powers' that could range from superior vision to the ability to replay memories inside one's own head.
Now Neuralink has taken one of its most significant steps forward to date with the announcement by Musk himself that the firm has successfully implanted a brain chip in a human patient.
"The first human received an implant from @Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well," he wrote.
"Initial results show promising neuron spike detection."
Neuralink was able to proceed with human trials after receiving approval from the US Food and Drug Administration last year.
Exactly what the implant will enable the human volunteer to do at this stage remains unclear, but if it works at all then it will undoubtedly represent a significant step forward for the company.
Whether or not Neuralink implants will ever go mainstream, however, remains to be seen.
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