Neuralink: Elon Musk’s Brain Chip Startup Approved for Human Trials
The idea of connecting our brains to computer systems is no longer just a concept from science-fiction movies. Elon Musk’s start-up Neuralink has been given approval to start its first human clinical trials, marking a significant step towards making brain-computer interface technology a reality.
Neuralink aims to install brain chips in up to 11 people in 2024, with thousands of volunteers already lined up to take part. Research suggests that more than a third of consumers would be willing to have such a chip implanted, in order to connect directly to computer systems.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently gave Neuralink approval to begin human trials, after initially refusing it. The company, which launched in 2016, is centred on creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain, and has already successfully implanted chips in mice, pigs, and monkeys.
With the potential to give people the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone, Neuralink’s device could have significant implications for individuals with quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Additionally, the company hopes to restore neural activity inside the body, potentially allowing those with spinal cord injuries to move limbs and even curing neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
While Neuralink is a pioneer in the field, it is not the only company working on brain-computer interface technology. Rival firms and other companies are also making strides in this area, with the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with technology and treat neurological conditions.
Elon Musk’s vision for Neuralink includes the possibility of ‘telepathic’ communication and wearers being able to operate bionic limbs based on advanced robotics. With ongoing developments in this space, the future of brain-computer interface technology holds immense promise and potential for improving the lives of individuals with neurological conditions.