Elon Musk's Neuralink seeks 1st human volunteer for brain implant

Elon Musk's Neuralink, which aims to revolutionize medicine and, frankly, humanity by installing computer chips in people's skulls to study brain activity and restore movement in subjects with neurological disorders and paralysis, is looking for its first volunteer, according to Bloomberg.

"It's looking for someone willing to have a chunk of their skull removed by a surgeon so a large robot can insert a series of electrodes and superthin wires into their brain," the news outlet reported Nov. 6. "When the robot finishes, the missing piece of skull will have been replaced with a computer the size of a quarter that's meant to stay there for years. Its job will be to read and analyze the person's brain activity, then relay that information wirelessly to a nearby laptop or tablet."

The ideal candidate is a person under 40 years old who is paralyzed in all four limbs, according to the story. Neuralink has gotten FDA approval for human trials, and plans to do 11 surgeries in 2024, followed by 27 in 2025 and 79 in 2026 — before ramping up to 499 in 2027 and more than 22,000 by 2030.

"The short-term goal of the company is to build a generalized brain interface and restore autonomy to those with debilitating neurological conditions and unmet medical needs," DJ Seo, a Neuralink co-founder and vice president for engineering, told Bloomberg. "Then, really, the long-term goal is to have this available for billions of people and unlock human potential and go beyond our biological capabilities."

The chip won't be visible once it's inside a human skull and its battery will be recharged via a special baseball cap, the news outlet reported. The surgical robots have implanted the devices in more than 400 animals since 2021. Neuralink has raised upward of $500 million since Mr. Musk co-founded the company in 2016.

"This is going to sound pretty weird, but ultimately we will achieve symbiosis with artificial intelligence," Mr. Musk said in 2019, according to the story.

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