The first human patient has received a Neuralink brain implant, Elon Musk revealed this detail in a tweet. According to him, the procedure was successful and the patient is recovering well one day after the surgery.
Neuralink, one of many companies of Elon Musk, is developing a device called a brain-computer interface. After many delays, Neuralink received approval for clinical trials from the US Food and Drug Administration and hospital ethics board.
The ultimate goal of Neuralink is to achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence. For now, the company is starting with a far more modest aim, allowing paralyzed people to control the keyboard or cursor with their minds. Neuralink is recruiting participants with quadriplegia, or paralysis in all four limbs who are at least 22 years old. They are estimating that the study will take about 6 years.
A brochure from Neuralink states that the company will use a surgical robot to place the implant into a region of the brain that controls movement intention. Once the coin-size device is placed, it intends to record and transmit brain signals wirelessly to an app that decodes those signals.
In the post, Elon Musk also revealed that initial results show promising neuron spike detection. Whether the patient will be able to use the implant or not, it could be months from now before we know. The person is recovering from surgery and training someone to use this device may take several months.
He did not share any other details about the procedure or the status of the trial. He claims that one day this could enable people to experience alternate realities.