Neuralink: Elon Musk wants to test his connected implants in people’s brains ‘within six months’

The startup has submitted the necessary paperwork to the U.S. health regulator to obtain approval for human trials of its device.

This promise should be taken with caution in view of previous statements. But according to Elon Musk, his startup Neuralink will be ready to test implanting the first connected device into the human brain within six months. This device, currently the size of a coin, should allow the human brain to communicate directly with computers through thought, without the need for an interface. “Obviously we want to be very careful and make sure it works, but we have submitted all of our paperwork to the FDA and we believe that within six months we will be able to get our first implant in the human brain,” said the boss of Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter and other startups during the presentation of Neuralink’s achievements. “Now we are confident that the Neuralink device is ready for humans, so the timing is subject to the FDA approval process,” he then explained on Twitter, the social network where he bought it a month ago. In 2020, the FDA recognized the implant as a “breakthrough device” (“scientific breakthrough”).

The billionaire has already made some risky predictions, in particular, about the autonomy of Tesla’s electric vehicles. In July 2019, he estimated that Neuralink would be able to conduct its first human trials in 2020. At the moment, the prototypes are implanted in the skulls of pigs and monkeys. Thus, some monkeys can “play” video games or “type” words on the screen simply by following the movement of the cursor on the screen with their eyes.

On Wednesday, Elon Musk and Neuralink engineers also summed up the startup’s latest achievements in developing a surgical robot and developing other implants that will be installed in the spinal cord or eyes to restore mobility or vision.

Other companies are working to control computers with thought, such as Synchron, which announced in July that it had implemented a brain-machine interface for the first time in the US.

In recent months, Elon Musk has urged his employees to work faster. “We are all going to die before anything useful happens,” he told the Neuralink team during the meeting, according to Bloomberg. It is assumed that the annual Neuralink conference will be used to create vacancies for hiring various specialists.

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