Musk’s Neuralink to start human trials for brain implants
Elon Musk’s Neuralink has received approval from an independent review board to begin human testing for its brain implant technology, the company announced Tuesday.
The human trials will focus on those who have suffered cervical spinal cord injuries and will take about six years to complete. Test subjects will have the chip, a brain-computer interface, inserted into their heads. The company said the initial goal is to get the human test subjects to operate a computer mouse and keyboard with their thoughts alone.
The announcement comes after a lengthy and rocky approval process. The Food and Drug Administration roundly criticized the company for its handling of animal testing and has been generally skeptical of Neuralink’s abilities.
The FDA initially approved the company for human trials in May, but reduced the number of patients from the original 10. The exact number of patients who will receive the BCI is not yet known.
Mr. Musk, the company’s owner, maintains that the potential of Neuralink’s technology is vast and could be used to treat any number of human ailments, from obesity to depression.