Elon Musk announced in Show and Tell on November 30 that his company Neuralink will test one of its devices on humans within the next 6 months. This is likely to happen in the first half of 2023. According to the billionaire, he will definitely use such a device in the future.
During the presentation, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and now Twitter said that all the necessary documents have been submitted to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in order for the United States legislation to allow the company to conduct human trials. Initially, Neuralink technology was planned to be tested in 2020, then the deadline was pushed to 2022, and now we should not expect anything until the first half of 2023.
It is worth noting that one of the startups before Neuralink has already received permission from the FDA to test the implant on humans:
Neuralink’s goal is to create a device that can be implanted in the brain and through which a person can control a computer with the brain. In 2019, Elon Musk revealed that the device was being tested on monkeys. In 2020, pigs were “equipped” with implants, and in 2021, Neuralink released a video of a monkey playing ping-pong with the device. In a demonstration video, a monkey was able to write “Welcome to show and tell” using the implant. In another video, we saw a monkey that can charge devices.
The Neuralink device is small and has several dozen “threads” that attach to the brain. According to Musk, it’s like replacing part of the skull with a smartwatch.
According to Dongjin DJ Seo, vice president of Implant and co-founder of Neuralink, the robot will be able to attach 64 such threads to the brain in about 15 minutes. Musk’s partner demonstrated this action on a mannequin.
The need for robotic surgeons stems from the small size of the sutures. The Nov. 30 presentation was mostly technical in nature, showing stakeholders the challenges the team faces, as well as how far the technology has advanced and what to expect in the future. The company’s owners say that one of their main goals is to help people who suffer from blindness and chronic paralysis.