Elon Musk’s brain implant company, Neuralink, is gearing up for its debut clinical trial. According to a report from Bloomberg, authored by Ashlee Vance, the company is actively searching for a volunteer willing to undergo a groundbreaking procedure.
This procedure entails inserting a set of electrodes and ultra-thin wires into the brain after removing a portion of the skull. Surprisingly, despite this being a complex procedure, a significant number of individuals are expressing their readiness to participate going by a report by Business Today.
The implanted device, intended to replace the removed part of the skull, will be tasked with reading and analyzing the brain activity of the individual. It will then wirelessly transmit this data to a nearby laptop or tablet. Ideally, the candidate for this trial should be an adult under 40 years of age who is experiencing paralysis in all four limbs.
Neuralink’s vision extends beyond this initial clinical trial, aiming to enable individuals to convert their thoughts into commands understandable by a computer. This cutting-edge technology has the potential to usher in an era of human-machine hybrids, with the capability to download knowledge, store thoughts, and even communicate with other brains.
However, despite the company’s lofty goals, there are challenges on the road to realization. While there is significant interest from prospective patients, Neuralink is still in search of its first volunteer. The company has set ambitious targets, with plans to conduct procedures on 11 individuals next year and more than 22,000 by 2030, as reported by Vance.
Neuralink is however not alone in this pioneering field. Other companies, such as Synchron and Onward, have been involved in human trials with brain implants and related technology for over a year.
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While the potential of this technology is substantial, its implementation demands precision and rigorous testing, given the critical nature of brain surgery. As a significant number of individuals express their interest in receiving the Neuralink chip, the world watches with anticipation to see how this revolutionary technology will shape the future of human-machine interaction.