1st patient gets brain chip implant from Elon Musk's Neuralink

Elon Musk's neurotechnology company, Neuralink, has implanted a chip into a human brain for the first time.

"The first human received an implant from Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well," Mr. Musk said in a Jan. 29 post on X, the social media platform he owns and formerly known as Twitter. "Initial results show promising neuron spike detection." 

Mr. Musk didn't mention specifics about the patient or their condition. However, when Neuralink said it was looking for its first volunteer for a brain implant last fall, it said the ideal patient is someone under 40 years old who is paralyzed in all four limbs. 

In his post on X, Mr. Musk added that Neuralink's first product would be called Telepathy and that initial users will be those who have lost use of their limbs. The brain-computer interface "enables control of your phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking," he said. "Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal."

The implant is about the size of a quarter and is placed in a person's skull by a surgical robot. 

Neuralink was founded in 2017 and received FDA clearance for clinical trials in humans last May. The company has been criticized for its surgical work in animals leading up to its clearance for human trials over the past few years. In December 2022, current and former Neuralink employees told Reuters that the company's push for speed led to unnecessary animal deaths. 

There are several other rival companies working on brain-computer interfaces, including Synchron, which was the first company to secure FDA clearance to test a device in humans in 2021, according to CNN Business. 

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