Musk’s Neuralink announces first implant in human brain
Neuralink’s Telephathy chip was implanted into a human patient this past weekend.
Neuralink, Elon Musk’s neurotech startup, has implanted its device in a human for the first time on Sunday, the billionaire announced on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Neuralink has been working on a brain implant engineered to empower patients struck by critical paralysis. The innovative implant enables its users to master external technologies solely through neural signals.
Significantly, the company commenced recruiting participants for its debut in-human clinical trial last fall, having attained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May.
Named ‘Telepathy,’ Neuralink’s first product has a significant promise. It could potentially enable patients suffering from severe degenerative diseases like ALS to establish communication or even interact with social media by maneuvering cursors and typing with their minds.
Musk compares this innovation to the late Stephen Hawking, who communicated faster than an expert typist or auctioneer.
The ongoing clinical trial forms a turning point in Neuralink’s journey toward commercialization. Like other medical device companies, Neuralink must undergo various phases of rigorous data safety collection and examination to secure the FDA’s final nod.
The company has yet to disclose the number of human patients involved in its initial trial.
There are, of course, loads of concerns regarding Neuralink’s Telepathy implant, particularly the ethics and safety of brain-computer interfaces.
First, many voices question the long-term effects of having a device embedded in the brain. Second, and perhaps more in tune with what’s happening in the world today, there are concerns about the security of neural data against hacking.
As we watch this space, one can’t help but wonder: Are we ready for a future where our brains interface directly with technology? And more importantly, can we ensure that this future is safe and ethical?