In 2020, Elon Musk suggested the device could solve conditions including paralysis and insomnia and could even give users “superhuman vision” in a presentation showcasing a pig with the implant. In that showcasing presentation the Neuralink implant that Elon Musk desires will someday connect the human brain to a computer. The test was performed on two monkeys and they were reportedly moving computer cursors with their brains.
The achievement was first documented by others in a human in 2006 in the pre-YouTube period and with technology that is far more unwisely, mooring patients to a computer connected with a cord. Elon Musk’s presentations Wednesday night offered little that was significantly new from previous demonstrations of the device. He continued to claim that the implant test could make computer control possible for people with paralysis outside of a lab experiment. But specialists in the concerned field questioned whether the affirmation showed major progress with the device, especially given the breadth of work underway nationwide.
Neuralink does not have approval from the Food and Drug Administration to sell the device. Elon Musk said Wednesday that the company had submitted most of its paperwork to the organization to take permission to implant its device in a human. They also predicted a test on humans in six months, but any major step toward trials in people would be up to the FDA after a full evaluation of the risks of surgical implantation and the safety of the device.
Neuralink was originally scheduled for an event in late October, but billionaire Elon Musk postponed the presentation in one of the most chaotic months of his career. He recently completed his on-and-off acquisition of Twitter, which drew a lot of attention to the management of the social media company and sparked significant controversy. As Elon Musk Juggles these responsibilities with others – he also oversees electric car maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX – Neuralink is coming out of transition.
Last year, the company’s president and one of his co-founders, Max Hodak, left the company to start his own business in the same field. Neuralink’s official CEO is Jared Birchall, the money manager who runs Musk’s family office. Wednesday night’s presentation focused on the “Link” device. It’s like stacking multiple coins a few inches wide with hundreds of fine threads. According to Musk’s 2020 company presentation, the surgical robot will drill a hole in the skull and push threads of electrodes into the brain’s gray matter. A major player in the field of brain-computer interface technology has been eyeing his Neurlink investment device that works without protruding cables or hardware. But Musk’s presentations so far have left many of them uneasy and overwhelmed.
But this array is not suitable for long-term use. It rises up out of the skull, tethers users to a cord linked to a computer, and exposes them to the risk of a brain infection. For these and other reasons, companies like Neuralink are working to build devices that are fully implanted.
This article originally appeared in the New York Times.
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