Elon Musk is gearing up for one of the most important experiments of his life.
Neuralink, the multibillionaire's company founded in 2016, is poised to begin clinical trials that require a volunteer participant ideally under the age of 40, and specifically someone with limb paralysis.
The trial will involve a remarkable procedure in which a portion of the participant's skull will be removed, making way for the precise insertion of a brain implant using a highly advanced surgical robot.
This will be done in order to acquire vital data from the premotor cortex, a critical step toward translating human thoughts into discernible computer commands.
Neuralink’s Human Trials – A Step Towards Hybrid Brains
Despite Neuralink's ambitious promises and timelines that have raised skepticism among the medical community, the company has succeeded in engineering a state-of-the-art brain implant equipped with over 1,000 electrodes.
While Neuralink has faced criticism over its treatment of animal test subjects, the company places a strong emphasis on the welfare and ethical treatment of these animals in its research and testing processes.
Musk's commitment to rapid progress and a comprehensive in-house manufacturing approach underscores the company's dedication to ensuring that hybrid human-implant brains remain at the forefront of technological innovation.
As part of its ongoing development, Neuralink is in the process of transitioning the majority of its operations to a vast campus in Texas, as it offers an expanded and more versatile testing environment for the company.
What This Means For the Future of Implant Surgeries
Neuralink envisions conducting thousands of human implant surgeries in the coming years.
If the company's ongoing endeavors and clinical trials prove successful, the implications could be revolutionary.
"The short-term goal of the company is to build a generalized brain interface and restore autonomy to those with debilitating neurological conditions and unmet medical needs,” DJ Seo, co-founder and vice president for engineering for Neurolink, shared with Bloomberg.
Neuralink has the potential to significantly enhance the quality of life for individuals suffering from paralysis or other neurological conditions, and potentially push the boundaries of human potential beyond the current biological constraints.
Edited by Nikola Djuric