Neuralink, Elon Musk’s Brian’s computer networking company, said late Thursday that it had done so received the FDA’s long-awaited approval to begin brain experiments on human subjects. Soon, the company will perform brain surgery on people to find out if it is the ability to read minds It can help people with severe disabilities regain control of their bodies using only nerve signals.
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“This is the result of the incredible work of the Neuralink team in close cooperation with the FDA and represents an important step that will one day allow our technology to help more people,” Neuralink said in a tweet announcing the approval. Rthe writing of the test it hasn’t been opened yet, so anyone who wants to have their skull opened by Musk’s company will have to wait a while.
Neuralink and the FDA did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
What is Neuralink?
Musk’s company-Computer-Computer Interface (BCI) is one of the first startups to connect the human brain to computers through brain chips. Neuralink’s small circular structure called “Link” requires patients to undergo invasive surgery to attach the device to the brain where it reads neural signals. A bed of tiny wires from the device floats over the patient’s brain to monitor activity and use electricity to stimulate certain areas.
In the short term, Neuralink believes that the device could be used to treat chronic brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and epilepsy as well as addictive diseases such as ALS. For a long time, Musk made it clear they believe the device could one day augment human intelligence and act as a defense against artificial intelligence rulers. Think about unity but with a very thin scalp.
The FDA’s approval for humans is a major milestone for Neuralink, which until now had been testing its devices in monkeys and other animals. Those trials were not without controversy. Last year, an animal rights group called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine announced a complaint filed with the USDA. They are accusing the company of abusing people who conduct monkey tests during the trial. Some of the monkeys who had the device, according to the rights group, are said to have lost their lives and become very tired while others, who were overcome by anxiety, are said to have cut themselves. Neuralink has previously denied abusing its test animals.
Neuralink was not the first brain-computer interface to receive FDA approval. Synchronize, an Australian startup that wants to use technology to allow mobile users to send emails and documents with their ideas. received FDA approval in 2021 and he reportedly put his device on a human head last year.
There are many good reasons why a disabled or disabled person would seek out Neuralink or another BCI company to restore physical function, but it remains unclear whether Musk’s long-term vision of chip-aided supercomputing cyborgs is really worth it. Last year, 78% of US adults he was asked and Pew Research said they may or may not want a computer chip implanted in their brains to process information faster. More than half (56%) of those surveyed said they believed the use of technology was wrong, compared to only 13% who said it was a good idea.