By Emmanuel Nduka
Founder, CEO and Chief Engineer of SpaceX, Elon Musk has announced his brain-interface technology company, Neuralink, is ready to implant microchips into the brains of humans.
According to Musk, the chip will help restore functionality to those with paralysis and other forms of brain challenges.
He said the chip which will be implanted into people’s brains, are intended to record and stimulate brain activity in order to aid patients suffering from significant spinal cord injuries and neurological illnesses.
Musk while speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, said he doesn’t want to “raise hopes unreasonably” but is “increasingly confident” that the technology is nearly ready for humans (pending Food and Drug Administration approval).
“Neuralink is working well in monkeys, and we’re currently conducting extensive testing to ensure that it’s highly safe and reliable, and that the Neuralink device can be securely removed.
“I think we have a chance with Neuralink to restore full-body functionality to someone who has a spinal cord injury,” Musk explained.
He added that the chip could allow a person who is suffering from disability to use a smartphone with their mind.
“Later versions will be able to shunt signals from Neuralinks in brain to Neuralinks in body motor/sensory neuron clusters, thus enabling, for example, paraplegics to walk again,” he said.
In July 2020, Musk also announced that he was working on a microchip that would allow wearers to stream music directly into their brains.