June 23, 2024

Elon Musk’s Neuralink Implants First Brain Chip In A Human

On Tuesday, Elon Musk announced that his neurotechnology company Neuralink implanted the first brain chip in a human. The trial was first announced in September 2023 and as per his latest tweet on X(formerly known as Twitter), the participant is recovering fine.

Results also show a great deal of neuron spikes. For those who don’t know, neuron spike refers to the activity of neurons during which they use energy to send signals and information around the brain and to the body. So an increase in neuron spikes simply refers to a more active brain.

A little about the company— Neuralink was co-founded by Elon Musk in 2016.

Its primary goal is to create a sustainable bond between our brains and computers which in turn will help us deal with neurological disorders.

However, the company had to go through a great deal of struggle in the initial stages, owing to the unique nature of its work. But this year it reached one of its biggest milestones as FDA approved human testing for the chips.

What Lies Ahead?

With the approval from the FDA, Neuralink will now launch a 6-year study during which they’ll have a robot implant 64 flexible threads (thinner than human hair) into the part of the brain that helps control movement.

As you can understand, if this experiment is successful, it will revolutionize the lives of people suffering from movement-related diseases such as ALS or Parkinson’s.

In one of his statements, Musk confirmed that “Initial users will be those who have lost the use of their limbs”.

Musk also said that the first product by Neuralink will be named Telepathy. It would allow you to control any device through your phone or computer just by thinking. A lot like how Stephen Hawking functioned, but this process will be much faster.

However, this is only the beginning and the road ahead is quite tricky for Neuralink because there are many other successful competitors aiming for the same goal. For instance, Blackrock Neurotech implanted its first set of brain-computer interfaces in 2004.

Other companies such as Australia-based Synchron and Precision Neuroscience are not only early to the race, but the latter has developed better ways of implanting the chip.

Precision Neuroscience (which was founded by a co-founder of Neuralink) uses a very tiny chip, almost the size of a small tape, that’s meant to sit at the surface of your brain and can be implanted through a micro slit surgery. This process is said to be much simpler and less invasive than what Musk had originally planned.

Sensing the growing competition, Musk smartly reached out to Synchron for a collaboration. The implant developed by the latter is much less invasive and doesn’t require cutting into the skull in order to install, unlike Neuralink’s Link product. This will certainly give the company an edge over its competitors.

Overall, Neuralinl is doing great. As per the latest reports from Pitchbook (a data company), it has a strong workforce of 400 employees and has raised at least $363 million from investors.


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