Elon Musk Teases Looming Human Trial Of Neuralink's Brain Chip Pending FDA Approval

© REUTERS / POOLTesla CEO Elon Musk gestures as he visits the construction site of Tesla's Gigafactory in Gruenheide near Berlin, Germany, August 13, 2021.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk gestures as he visits the construction site of Tesla's Gigafactory in Gruenheide near Berlin, Germany, August 13, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.12.2021
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After tech maverick Elon Musk first unveiled the brain chip developed by his company Neuralink last summer, this February he boasted that the brain implant had enabled a monkey to play mind-pong, subsequently releasing a video to corroborate his claims.
Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has said his brain-interface technology company Neuralink hopes to start implanting its microchips in humans as soon as next year.
According to the CEO and Chief Engineer at SpaceX, who gave at a livestreamed interview at The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit on 6 December, the brain chip had undergone successful testing in animals such as pigs and monkeys.
“Neuralink's working well in monkeys, and we're actually doing just a lot of testing and just confirming that it's very safe and reliable, and the Neuralink device can be removed safely,” he said.
Musk said the chip, tailored for use in people that have severe spinal-cord injuries, like tetraplegics, quadriplegics ( full or partial paralysis of the arms and legs), will be implanted pending The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)approval. He added this ought not be a problem as Neuralink's "standards for implanting the device are substantially higher than what the FDA requires."
Cofounded by Musk in 2016, Neuralink has been developing a chip that would be implanted in people's brains to simultaneously record and stimulate brain activity.
Its prospective medical applications include treating serious spinal-cord injuries and neurological disorders.
In a subsequent tweet on Tuesday, Musk added that device will be able to solve many physical ailments “ [by] bridging signals between existing neurons.”
Despite current optimism voiced by Elon Musk, he previously offered several timelines for human Neuralink tests. In 2019 he had vowed they would be launched by the end of 2020. That timeframe was later amended to 2021 and now it has been postponed to 2022.
A working model of the device was unveiled in pigs last year, while in April 2021 Musk offered footage to prove the brain chip’s successful test in a nine-year-old macaque monkey. A released clip had shown the animal purportedly playing a video game of Pong with its mind only.
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