Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Neuralink, announced on January 29 that the first human recipient of an implant from the brain-chip startup underwent the procedure on January 28 and is recovering well.
Taking to social media, X, Musk posted, “The first human received an implant from @Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well.” Neuralink was given clearance by the US Food and Drug Administration last year to conduct its first trial to test its implant on humans. “Initial results show promising neuron spike detection,” Musk’s post added.
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
According to Neuralink’s website, it has received approval from the independent institutional review board. The PRIME Study (short for Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface) – an investigational medical device trial for fully-implantable, wireless brain-computer interface (BCI) – aims to evaluate the safety of our implant (N1) and surgical robot (R1) and assess the initial functionality of our BCI for enabling people with paralysis to control external devices with their thoughts, according to the company’s website.
Enables control of your phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking.
Initial users will be those who have lost the use of their limbs.
Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 30, 2024
During the study, the R1 Robot will be used to surgically place the N1 Implant’s ultra-fine and flexible threads in a region of the brain that controls movement intention. Once in place, the N1 Implant is cosmetically invisible and is intended to record and transmit brain signals wirelessly to an app that decodes movement intention. The initial goal of our BCI is to grant people the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone, it also said.
The PRIME Study is being conducted under the investigational device exemption (IDE) awarded by the FDA in May 2023 and represents an important step in our mission to create a generalised brain interface to restore autonomy to those with unmet medical needs, it added.
Musk and his company have already faced massive criticism for the trial of “brain chips” on lab animals. In February 2022, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine submitted a complaint alleging that Neuralink did “invasive and deadly brain experiments.”
By December of that year, the company was being investigated by federal authorities for potential violations of animal welfare standards, with documents indicating that the company had murdered around 1,500 animals, including rats, monkeys, pigs, and mice, since 2018. Neuralink fought back against these very serious allegations claiming that the rhesus macaque monkeys under its care were “respected and honoured” by the team.
(with inputs from ANI)