Elon Musk, a billionaire, recently announced that his company Neuralink successfully implanted the first brain chip in a human. This groundbreaking procedure was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nine months ago. Musk shared the news on social media, stating that the first human recipient of the Neuralink implant is recovering well and initial results show promising detection of neuronal spikes.
The main goal of this procedure is to connect human brains to computers and address neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. The company envisions achieving a symbiotic relationship between humans and artificial intelligence in the future. Prior to this human implant, brain chips had been tested on animals, including monkeys that were able to play the video game Pong without a joystick or keyboard.
The implant, which is the size of a coin, is placed in the brain through surgery using a robot to insert 64 flexible threads, thinner than a human hair, into a specific part of the brain. This area controls the “intention to move.” The implant is cosmetically invisible and is designed to record and transmit brain signals wirelessly to an application that decodes movement intention. The chip is powered by a battery that can be charged wirelessly. Musk has mentioned that Neuralink’s first product will be called Telepathy and will be targeted towards individuals who have lost the use of their limbs.
Neuralink is not the first company to perform brain implants in humans. Other companies have been testing similar procedures to help individuals with mobility issues. In 2019, researchers at the Clinatec institute in Grenoble presented an implant that allowed a quadriplegic person to animate an exoskeleton and move their arms. Neuralink is also developing implants to restore vision and basic bodily functions in people paralyzed by spinal cord damage.
According to data from the company Pitchbook, Neuralink, based in California, has more than 400 employees and has raised at least $363 million. Elon Musk has expressed his intention to offer the implant to the entire world to improve communication with computers and mitigate the risks associated with artificial intelligence.
In conclusion, the successful implantation of the first brain chip in a human by Neuralink marks a significant milestone in the field of brain-computer interface. The potential applications of this technology are vast, ranging from restoring mobility to individuals with paralysis to enhancing communication with computers. As the company continues to develop and refine its products, the future of brain implants holds great promise for improving the lives of those with neurological disorders and mobility limitations.
Image Source: www.univision.com
Technology, Science, Health