Elon Musk has announced his brain-interface technology company Neuralink is ready to implant microchips into the brains of humans. The chip according to Elon Musk will help restore functionality to those with paralysis and other forms of brain challenges.
He added that the chips – which will be implanted into people’s brains – are designed to record and stimulate brain activity, with the aim of helping those with serious spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders.
Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, Musk said he doesn’t want to “raise hopes unreasonably” but is “increasingly confident” that the technology is nearly ready for humans (pending Food and Drug Administration approval).
“Neuralink’s working well in monkeys, and we’re actually doing a lot of testing, and confirming that it’s very safe and reliable, and that the Neuralink device can be removed safely,” “I think we have a chance with Neuralink to restore full-body functionality to someone who has a spinal cord injury.” Explaining the use Musk said the chip should theoretically enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind.
He added: “Later versions will be able to shunt signals from Neuralinks in brain to Neuralinks in body motor/sensory neuron clusters, thus enabling, for example, paraplegics to walk again” In July last year, Musk also announced that he was working on a microchip that would allow wearers to stream music directly into their brains – it’s unclear if this is the same device.
In April 2021, Neuralink released a video of a monkey playing a video game using one of the company’s devices. At first, the monkey is physically moving a joystick, while the microchip records its brain activity.
When the joystick is unplugged, the monkey is still able to control the game via brain signals being relayed by the Neuralink chip.