- World richest man, Elon Musk, has revealed progress made on its microchip currently being developed by his company, Neuralink
- Neuralink Corporation is a neurotechnology company developing implantable brain-machine interfaces
- Musk had recently revealed testing with a monkey was very successful and the next stage is for humans
Elon Musk has announced his brain-interface technology company, Neuralink, is ready to implant microchips into the brains of humans.
The chip, according to Elon Musk, will help restore functionality to those with paralysis and other forms of brain challenges.
He went on to say that the chips, which will be implanted into people's brains, are intended to record and stimulate brain activity in order to aid patients suffering from significant spinal cord injuries and neurological illnesses.
Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, Musk said he doesn’t want to “raise hopes unreasonably” but is “increasingly confident” that the technology is nearly ready for humans (pending Food and Drug Administration approval).
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"Neuralink is working well in monkeys, and we're currently conducting extensive testing to ensure that it's highly safe and reliable, and that the Neuralink device can be securely removed."
“I think we have a chance with Neuralink to restore full-body functionality to someone who has a spinal cord injury.”
Musk explained the use, saying that the chip could allow someone who is suffering from disability to use a smartphone with their mind.
"Later versions will be able to shunt signals from Neuralinks in brain to Neuralinks in body motor/sensory neuron clusters, thus enabling, for example, paraplegics to walk again."
In July 2020, Musk also announced that he was working on a microchip that would allow wearers to stream music directly into their brains – it’s unclear if this is the same device.
In April 2021, Neuralink released a video of a monkey playing a video game using one of the company’s devices. At first, the monkey is physically moving a joystick, while the microchip records its brain activity.
When the joystick is unplugged, the monkey is still able to control the game via brain signals being relayed by the Neuralink chip.
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As at Wednesday, 8 December, data from the Bloomberg index put Elon Musk's wealth at $278 billion.