Elon Musk’s Brain-Chip Startup Could Test on Humans This Year


  • Elon Musk on Thursday released a video described as showing a monkey playing video games with its mind.
  • Earlier in the year, Musk said Neuralink plans to initiate human trials by the end of the year.
  • In 2019, Musk said it would be testing the AI brain chips on humans by the end of 2020.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk released a video showing how his company Neuralink— a brain-computer-interface company — had advanced its technology to the point that the chip could allow a monkey to play video games with its mind.

Neuralink could transition from operating on monkeys to human trials within the year, if the startup meets a previous prediction from Musk. In February, he said the company planned to launch human trials by the end of the year after first mentioning his work with the monkey implants.

 

At the time, the CEO gave the timeline in response to another user’s request to join human trials for the product, which is designed to implant artificial intelligence into human brains as well as potentially cure neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Read more: Rivian uses one of Elon Musk’s favorite job-interview techniques to determine which candidates stand out from the pack

“Neuralink is working super hard to ensure implant safety & is in close communication with the FDA,” Musk said on Twitter in response to another user’s request to join human trials. “If things go well, we might be able to do initial human trials later this year.”

 

Musk has made similar statements in the past about his project, which was launched in 2016. He said in 2019 that it would be testing on humans by the end of 2020.

There has been a recent flurry of information on the project. Prior to the recent video release on Twitter,  Musk had made an appearance on the social media site, Clubhouse, and provided some additional updates on Neuralink back in February.

During his Clubhouse visit, Musk detailed how the company had implanted the chip in the monkey’s brain and talked about how it could play video games using only its mind.

Neuralink has tested the chips on other animals. Last year, the company implanted an AI brain chip into a pig.

See also: Elon Musk’s move to Texas is a publicity stunt that reveals how Tesla is maturing as an automaker

The chip implants can read and write brain activity. Musk claims the brain-machine interface could do anything from cure paralysis to give people telepathic powers, referring to the device as “a Fitbit in your skull.”





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