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Elon Musk’s Neuralink AI chip gets implanted on first human

Elon Musk's Neuralink implants 1st brain-computer interface in human. While details regarding patient have not been revealed, here's what we know.

Elon Musk Neuralink

After launching Neuralink, a brain-computer interface venture in 2017, Elon Musk, the founder of the startup, announced via a post on X (formerly Twitter) that a first human received an implant over the weekend. Musk mentioned that the patient underwent the procedure the day before the announcement and is reportedly recovering well. He also noted that initial results indicate promising neuron spike detection.

However, Musk did not provide further details about the patient. When Neuralink announced its intention to recruit participants in September, the company specified its search for individuals with quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

On X, Neuralink reposted Elon Musk’s Monday announcement regarding the human implant. However, the company refrained from issuing any further statements on the matter. The startup is among several groups working on connecting the nervous system to computers, with the aim of treating brain disorders, addressing brain injuries, and exploring other applications. Currently, there are more than 40 brain-computer interface trials underway, as reported by clinicaltrials.gov

Neuralink got the green light from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for its “investigational device exemption,” which lets them start clinical studies with eligible patients. However, the agency clarified that it cannot confirm or disclose details about any particular study. The device, about the size of a large coin, is made to go in the skull, with super-thin wires going straight into the brain.

In a separate Monday post on X, Musk said that the first Neuralink product is called “Telepathy” will enable users to control their phones or computers “just by thinking.” He added that intial users would be those who have lost use of their limbs. The company plans to put these wires in a part of the brain that controls movement intention. Initially, they aim to help people control a computer cursor or keyboard just by thinking.

Previously on Musk’s Bucket List

Before this recent announcement, Musk took on YouTube by revealing plans for a dedicated Smart TV app, making it easier for users to watch long-form videos on X (formerly Twitter) directly on their televisions. Additionally, in January, Musk disclosed Tesla’s intention to invest over $500 million in Nvidia hardware to develop Tesla’s Dojo supercomputer. This supercomputer aims to handle vast amounts of car footage and data to train AI algorithms. Furthermore, production for Dojo computers, which can train driverless cars, commenced. Musk’s xAI Grok, a chatbot competing with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, recently became open source. With ventures spanning cars, rockets, AI, and now Neuralink, Elon Musk seems to have numerous tricks up his sleeve.

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