Story at a glance

  • A San Francisco Bay Area-based startup co-founded by Musk in 2016 is aiming to implant a computer interface in the human brain to help treat neurological conditions like Alzhemier’s, dementia and spinal cord injuries.
  • Musk said trials could potentially start later this year.
  • In the long-term, the company is looking to achieve a degree of symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says his brain-computer interface startup Neuralink could kick off human trials as early as this year "if things go well." 

The San Francisco Bay Area-based start-up co-founded by Musk in 2016 is aiming to implant a computer interface in the human brain to help treat neurological conditions like Alzhemier's, dementia and spinal cord injuries. In the long-term, the company is looking to achieve a degree of symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. 

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On Twitter Monday, Musk responded to another user's request to participate in human trials of the technology. 

"I was in a car accident 20 years ago and have been paralyzed from the shoulders ever since. I'm always available for clinical studies at @Neuralink," Hammon Kamai wrote to Musk. 

In response, Musk said trials could potentially start later this year. 

"Neuralink is working super hard to ensure implant safety & is in close communication with the FDA. If things go well, we might be able to do initial human trials later this year," Musk wrote. 

Musk previously estimated the company would begin human trials of the technology in the second quarter of 2020, which didn't pan out. 

On Sunday, Musk revealed during an interview on the private social app Clubhouse that Neuralink put a wireless implant in a monkey's brain that allowed the animal to play video games using only its mind. 

"You can't even see where the neural implant was put in, except that he's got a slight like dark mohawk," Musk said

Neuralink has been testing such interfaces on animals for years. The company last year showcased pigs with computer chips in their brains and displayed real-time neural signals from one of the animals. 

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Published on Feb 02, 2021