Elon Musk’s Neuralink Could Start Human Trials This Year

Elon Musk has announced that his brain-computer interface Neuralink is looking to accelerate its...

Photo credit: Neuralink

Elon Musk has announced that his brain-computer interface Neuralink is looking to accelerate its pace to enable human trials as soon as possible. Provided that things go well, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO remarked that human trials for Neuralink’s technology could begin as early as this year.

Read more: Elon Musk Unveils Neuralink Brain Implant, Connecting Human Brains to Computers

“Neuralink is working super hard to ensure implant safety & is in close communication with the FDA. If things go well, we might be able to do initial human trials later this year,” Musk said.

The Neuralink is a microchip that is designed to implant artificial intelligence into human brains as well as potentially cure neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, reports BusinessInsider.

Musk claims the brain-machine interface could do anything from cure paralysis to give people telepathic powers, referring to the device as "a Fitbit in your skull."

The Neuralink system has a small device with a rechargeable battery meant to last a full day. There are wires embedded in the cortical surface of the brain for continuously recording 1,024 channels of neural signals at once. A six-axis inertial measurement unit tracks head movement. There are also sensors for measuring temperature, and a Bluetooth antenna to connect with a smartphone app.

The device is less invasive than other Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) systems that are implanted around the chest area, and a link implanted through the skull. Musk saying it could be implanted in less than one hour in an outpatient setting and without the use of general anesthesia, with options for removal or upgrades down the line.

Read more: Brain Computer Interface with Neurofeedback Can Improve Your Performance, Says Columbia Study

Musk is known for making awe-inspiring claims and then failing to deliver. He predicted one million self-driving taxis on the road by the end of 2020. But that didn’t happen. However, let’s just hope he’s right this time around. The idea behind Neuralink is so far-fetched that it could transform the world.

Sam Draper
February 5, 2021

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