The first human subject to undergo Neuralink surgery is doing well.
Together with a team of scientists, Elon Musk founded the company Neuralink in 2016, which deals with the development of chips that can be implanted in the brain. If we think in terms of science fiction, according to the Musks, these could one day endow people with impressive abilities, but in the near future they could be useful primarily to patients with various disabilities, who can communicate or control different devices more easily with the help of the wireless “mind computer”.
As previously reported, the US Food and Drug Administration approved last May testing the technology on humans, and soon after Neuralink started recruiting test subjects, according to a report at the time with great interest. Now the project has reached another milestone with the first successful implantation.
Elon Musk himself announced this on his social network X (formerly Twitter), where he announced in a short post that the first human patient received the Neuralink chip on January 28 and is already recovering from the implantation. Regarding the results, the billionaire only said that the initial numbers show “promising neuron peak detection”.
The first human received an implant from @Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well.
Initial results show promising neuron spike detection.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 29, 2024
Nothing was revealed about the patient himself, but in the brochure prepared for the relevant study, the company wrote that they are looking for subjects at least 22 years old who suffer from damage to all four limbs due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). According to the plans, the experiment on humans will last for six years, so we still have a long way to go before we have final results regarding the project.
Musk’s brain chip is far from the first and only one on the market to be implanted in a human, as this was done with another technology back in 2004, and since then, several similar interventions have been performed around the world. At the same time, Neuralink’s solution is pioneering in that it does not require any cables for its operation, and it records brain activity on a total of 64 fibers, each containing more than 1,000 electrodes, each of which is thinner than a human hair.