SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk has said that Neuralink — his brain-computer-interface firm — could begin launching human trials by the end of the year.
The start-up, which was founded by the billionaire in 2016, aims to implant a computer interface in the human brain to provide long-term treatment for neurological conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and spinal cord injuries.
Musk revealed the surprising update on the technology when responding to one user who asked to participate in human trials.
“I was in a car accident 20 years ago and have been paralyzed from the shoulders ever since. I’m always available for clinical studies at @Neuralink,” Hammon Kamai told Musk.
“Neuralink is working super hard to ensure implant safety & is in close communication with the FDA. If things go well, we might be able to do initial human trials later this year,” Musk responded.
Neuralink is working super hard to ensure implant safety & is in close communication with the FDA. If things go well, we might be able to do initial human trials later this year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 1, 2021
On Sunday (January 31), Musk told users of private app Clubhouse that Neuralink recently used its nanotechnology to implant a chip into a monkey’s brain, which, he claims, allowed the animal to play video games using only its mind.
“You can’t even see where the neural implant was put in, except that he’s got a slight like dark mohawk,” Musk said, per The Hill.
Musk previously estimated that Neuralink would begin human trials of the technology in the second quarter of 2020, which ultimately failed to materialise.
Last month, Musk also became the world’s richest person, as his net worth crossed $185bn (£136bn).