Neuralink, the brain chip firm founded by tech billionaire Elon Musk, has announced US approval for a study into the safety and efficacy of its technology. The study, which is set to commence at some point in 2021, will be the first to investigate the use of Neuralink’s technology in humans. The news was announced in a tweet by Musk, who noted that ‘First implants have been blessed by the FDA’.
Neuralink’s brain-machine interface system has been developed in an effort to enable communication between the human brain and computers or other machines. The implant technology consists of a tiny chip, sensors and electrodes that are surgically implanted into the brain. The company claims that its technology is non-invasive, and that the required surgery to implant the chip is relatively short and straightforward.
The aim of the upcoming study will be to assess the safety and performance of the implantable brain chip in humans. The study will involve a small number of participants, although it is unclear how many people may ultimately participate. It is also unknown how long the study could take or what the results might be.
Ultimately, Neuralink hopes that its technology will be able to restore movement and other cognitive functions to those affected by paralysis or other medical conditions. The company is also developing an application that could potentially allow people to type words (using their thoughts) directly into a computer. The success or failure of the upcoming study may be a key step in determining the future potential of Neuralink’s technology.