Crypto News- Elon Musk, co-founder and owner of Neuralink, shared an exciting development on Monday as he announced the successful implantation of a computer chip developed by Neuralink in a human subject. This groundbreaking achievement signifies a significant milestone in the cutting-edge field of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) research.
In a Twitter announcement, Musk revealed, “The first human received an implant from Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well. Initial results show promising neuron spike detection.”
Milestone Achieved: Neuralink Chip Successfully Implanted in Human Subject
The primary objective of Neuralink’s venture into BCI is to decode signals related to intended movements from brain activity, enabling control over external devices like computers. Musk also outlined the company’s visionary product, Telepathy, which aims to allow users to control their phones or computers through thought. He emphasized the potential impact on individuals who have lost limb functionality, envisioning enhanced communication for people like Stephen Hawking.
Neuralink, based in California and founded in 2016, obtained FDA approval in September to initiate human trials. The company’s PRIME study, standing for “Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface,” sought volunteers, and progress updates were eagerly awaited.
Neuralink’s Historic Breakthrough: Human Implantation of Brain-Computer Interface Chip Marks New Era in Neurotechnology
Despite positive momentum, November brought a Reuters report detailing challenging outcomes in animal testing, raising concerns. The study requirements for human volunteers included quadriplegia due to spinal cord injury or ALS, one year post-injury without improvement, at least 22 years of age, and a consistent caregiver.
Participants committed to nine visits over 18 months, with additional research sessions, and a continued collaboration for five years post-study. The study evaluated the N1 BCI implant with 1,024 electrodes, distributed across 64 threads, designed to record and transmit neural activity to control computers through thoughts.
The controversial aspect of Neuralink’s approach drew criticism from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), condemning the surgical implantation method. The PCRM emphasized concerns about the difficulties in repairing implanted devices and potential severe medical complications.
While Neuralink’s approach faces criticism, other entities like Motif Neurotech are pursuing minimally-invasive alternatives. Motif Neurotech CEO Jacob Robinson sees Neuralink’s progress as validation for the growing interest and demand in neurotechnology, emphasizing the diverse approaches within the field.