When in April of last year we realized that Elon Musk’s Neuralink had managed to implant his brain chip to a chimpanzee that a video appears playing ping pong type Atari and commanding it with the mind, we seemed to be talking about pure science fiction.
The idea of Neuralink, Elon Musk’s company and its reason for being is well known: the creation of brain chips to benefit humans in countless ways and this is something that the Tesla tycoon has made public on successive occasions.
“One day Neuralink will allow someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using their thumbs,” affirmed the tycoon in 2016.
It seems that the moment when the possibility of implanting a brain chip has arrived, as new reports suggest that Neuralink plans to take the technology to clinical trials in humans.
Fittingly, Musk made statements on YouTube that he hoped human trials could begin when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives them approval for the experiment, something that has not happened yet.
On the other hand, a new job advertisement was revealed for the position of “clinical trial director” of Neuralink, to start human trials, confirming at least the preparations underway.
Read more: With Neuralink, Elon Musk promises to install brain ‘wiring’ and connect you to the internet
The job description reads, “As Clinical Director, he will work closely with some of the most innovative clinicians and engineers, as well as working with Neuralink’s early clinical trial participants.”
In addition to the monkey, Neuralink scientists successfully implanted the brain chip in a pig, which documented wireless signals from the processor in its brain.
“We hope to have (installed the chip) our first humans, which will be people who have severe spinal cord injuries such as tetraplegics, quadriplegics. I believe that with Neuralink we have the opportunity to restore functionality to the entire body of someone who has a spinal cord injury“added the tycoon.
In our first report on the appearance of Neuralink and the brain chip, we explained that it is the size of a coin” and can be placed in a part of the skull, without damaging the brain.
In 2019, a paper of the company described the Neuralink device as a series of small, flexible electrodes that a robot surgically implants in the head.
According to Musk, the potential of brain chips has unlimited uses, including the resolution of major ailments of the brain and spine, as well as blindness, paralysis, and even hearing.
It may interest you: Musk’s Neuralink shows a monkey with a brain chip playing video games with his mind