Elon Musk will implant a brain chip when ready

Musk shared the latest advances in brain chip technology during a Neuralink event on November 30. According to the billionaire, two of the company’s applications are to restore vision even to people who were born blind. The third app focuses on the motor cortex by restoring “whole-body function” to people with spinal cord injuries. “We are confident there are no physical limitations to systemic rehabilitation.”

Elon Musk has many ambitions with Neuralink. (Photo: The Week)

Musk said Neuralink could begin testing motor cortex technology on humans as early as the next six months.

“Obviously, we want to be especially careful and make sure it works well before we put the device into humans, but we’ve already filed most of the paperwork with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). )”.

The Tesla boss also announced that he would implant a chip on people. He reiterated this on Twitter after the event.

Xing Chen, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said that since none of Neuralink’s devices have been tested in humans or approved by the FDA, the Nov. 30 claims are skeptical.

Musk and a group of scientists and engineers founded Neuralink in 2012. The startup’s goal is to develop a brain-computer interface (BCI), which connects the human brain to a computer that can decode neural signals. .

Musk personally invested tens of millions of dollars in the company. He said Neuralink’s devices could trigger “superhuman perception,” allowing paralyzed people to operate smartphones or robotic limbs with their minds one day, and “solve.” autism and schizophrenia. His statements are without proof.

The November 30 presentation echoed Neuralink’s ambitions. Musk showed a video of a monkey with a chip in his skull playing a telepathy game. The chip was introduced over a year ago. At that time, Musk said he wanted to implant the chip in people who have quadriplegia due to brain or spinal injuries so that they “control a computer mouse or a phone, or any device with just their thoughts”.

Neuralink was criticized for its treatment of monkeys. The Committee on Responsible Medicine called on Musk to publish details of experiments on monkeys that resulted in internal bleeding, paralysis, chronic infections, convulsions, impaired mental health and death.

According to Anna Wexler, assistant professor of Health and Ethics Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, Neuralink’s presentations are unlike those of companies in the medical device space. According to her, encouraging people with disabilities to hope is a risky thing. She urges people to be skeptical of these claims because when it comes to medicine, the risks are huge.

Chen, a BCI specialist, said Neuralink’s implant would require the subject to undergo an invasive procedure. The doctor needed to drill a hole in the skull to implant the device into the brain tissue itself.

Still, she thinks there are people willing to take the risk.

Neuralink is not the only company that wants to create a breakthrough for BCI. Many companies have made remarkable strides. For example, Blackrock Neurotech is set to bring the BCI system to market next year and will be the first commercial BCI in history. Synchron is approved by the FDA in 2021 to begin clinical trials of BCI, Paradromics is also expected to begin human trials from next year.

(According to CNBC)

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