Elon Musk’s Neuralink implants a brain chip for the first time in a human

Elon Musk NeuraLink
  • Elon Musk said his startup implanted the first Neuralink chip in a human
  • He assured that the patient is recovering well and that the initial results are promising. 
  • Neuralink has the mission of restoring mobility to paralyzed people with just their thoughts
  • Musk announced that Neuralink’s first product will be called Telepathy

Reality is looking more and more like an episode of ‘Black Mirror‘.

Billionaire Elon Musk is now closer to completing one of his most ambitious inventions: a neural chip implanted in the human brain that promises to cure diseases and make life in general easier for people.

Neuralink , Musk’s brain chip startup, first implanted a device in a human patient on Sunday, the founder revealed in a post on X (formerly Twitter ) on Monday. For the first time, a Neuralink chip has been implanted in a human, and so far everything suggests that the first test has been successful, he noted.

The first human received a Neuralink implant yesterday and is recovering well. Initial results show promising neuronal spike detection.

Spikes are activity in neurons, which the National Institutes of Health describes as cells that use electrical and chemical signals to send information to the brain and body.

Neuralink had worked with animals until now

Founded in 2016, Neuralink is one of multiple businesses Musk runs. The neurotechnology company is developing  implantable brain-computer interfaces (BCIs)  with the intention of helping people with neurological disorders.  The goal is for people to be able to control devices using only their thoughts, the company has said.

The project gained high visibility when Musk gave a public presentation, broadcast live in 2020, in which he showed a group of pigs with the implants. Although everything looked in order in front of the cameras, the reality in the laboratories seemed to be different. A Reuters report published in late 2022 revealed that the company conducted tests that resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,500 animals, including sheep, monkeys and pigs. 

Neuralink, which has since come under fire, received permission from the FDA to test the chip in humans in May 2023. Then, in September, it received enrollment clearance for the human trial.

A robot is responsible for surgically placing the device in a region of the brain that controls the intention to move.

This first study will allow the company to test its wireless interface on a human brain to evaluate the safety of the implant and the surgical robot responsible for inserting the implant. In particular, it seeks to evaluate the functionality of the solution to allow people with quadriplegia, or paralysis of all four limbs, to control devices with their thoughts. 

Musk Provides Teasers, Unveils ‘Telepathy’

Musk provided more details in a separate post on X , in which he stated that Neuralink‘s first product will be called Telepathy This product, whose name translates into Spanish as ‘telepathy’, would allow you to“ control your phone or computer and, through them, almost any device, simply by thinking,” he said.

The initial users will be those who have lost the use of their limbs,”he continued.“ Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speedy typist or an auctioneer. “That’s the goal,” he added, referring to the late British scientist who suffered from motor neurone disease.

Although it seems straight out of a futuristic science fiction story, neural implants are not that new, and other companies have already made advances in humans. Blackrock Neurotech , based in Utah, implemented the first of many brain-computer interfaces in 2004, as BBC recalls , and an institute in Switzerland has already made it possible for a paralyzed man to walk by simply thinking .