Elon Musk has implanted himself as a changemaker in social media, satellite web, and electric cars. Now, he’s coming for the human brain.
Musk’s brain chip technology company, Neuralink, announced on Wednesday that it could begin human trials on patients with paralysis in what’s expected to be a six-year-long study.
Dubbed the PRIME (Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface) study, Neuralink shall be recruiting qualified paraplegic patients because of “cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS),” per the company’s release.
Related: Neuralink, an organization owned by Elon Musk, implants a chip in a monkey in order that it uses a video game with its mind
The trial goals to implant the device into patients’ brains in order that paralyzed patients can hopefully learn to “control external devices with their thoughts.”
Musk confirmed the news via X early Wednesday.
The first human patient will soon receive a Neuralink device. This ultimately has the potential to revive full body movement.
In the long run, Neuralink hopes to play a job in AI risk civilizational risk reduction by improving human to AI (and human to human) bandwidth by… https://t.co/DzqoYI27Ng
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 20, 2023
“In the long run, Neuralink hopes to play a job in AI risk civilizational risk reduction by improving human to AI (and human to human) bandwidth by several orders of magnitude,” he explained. “Imagine if Stephen Hawking had had this.”
Related: Google Ventures, Others Back Elon Musk’s Neuralink Startup
Neuralink received FDA approval for human testing in May, after only having previously tested on chimpanzees.
Earlier this yr, in February, Neuralink was probed by the U.S. Department of Transportation after being accused of doubtless spreading disease and bacteria by not properly transporting and packaging materials from the brain chips utilized in primates.
The company also faced allegations of animal abuse in 2022 upon its first round of testing.
Neuralink denied the claims.
“If animals have to be utilized in research within the meantime, their lives and experiences ought to be as vital and naturalistic as possible,” the corporate said on the time. “It is our responsibility as caretakers to be certain that their experience is as peaceful and albeit, as joyful as possible.”