On Wednesday, Elon Musk said that despite the business’s missed deadlines, he expects human clinical trials of the wireless brain chip his company Neuralink built to begin in six months. The business is working on brain chip interfaces that could help paralyzed people walk, talk, and see again, as Musk said on Wednesday. Neuralink, headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin, Texas, has been performing animal experiments for the past few years in anticipation of receiving FDA approval to launch human clinical trials.
During a long-awaited public update, Musk said, “We want to be extremely careful and certain that it will work well before putting a device into a human.” During his nearly three-hour presentation at Neuralink headquarters, Musk underlined the rapid pace at which the business is creating its device. “The progress at first, particularly as it applies to humans, will seem perhaps agonizingly slow, but we are doing all of the things to bring it to scale in parallel,” he added. “So, in theory, progress should be exponential.”
Reuters’ request for comment from the FDA went unanswered for some time. Musk has indicated that the first two human uses for the Neuralink gadget will be to restore sight and allow paralyzed individuals to move their muscles. We believe we can restore eyesight even if someone has never had any before, such as if they were born blind. Originally scheduled for October 31, Musk abruptly rescheduled the event a few days before.
More than a year has passed since Neuralink’s last public demonstration, in which a monkey implanted with a brain chip played a video game solely through its own thoughts. Musk, who also founded and chairs Twitter, is best known for his grandiose plans to save the world and colonize Mars via his rocket company SpaceX and electric car company Tesla. In the same vein, his goals for Neuralink, which he founded in 2016, are extremely lofty.
Exciting Neuralink update in 30 mins! https://t.co/5NYAyjP8mh
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 1, 2022
To treat neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s, and to help those with paralysis regain motor function, he hopes to create a chip that the brain can use to control complex electronic devices. The concept of combining human and machine intelligence is also discussed. However, there has been some delay in the launch of Neuralink. Musk stated in a presentation given in 2019 that he hoped to have regulatory permission by the end of 2020. Then, at a meeting in late 2021, he announced that he wanted to begin human trials that very year.
Former and present employees say that Neuralink has missed internal deadlines to start human studies after receiving FDA approval on multiple occasions. After venting to Neuralink staff about the company’s lack of development, Musk contacted Synchron early this year about making an investment. In July, Synchron reached a critical milestone by implanting its device in its first patient in the United States. Four Australians were studied, and it was given regulatory approval for use in the United States in 2021.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, said on Wednesday that human clinical trials of the wireless brain chip his company Neuralink built will begin in six months despite the company’s missed deadlines. Musk said on Wednesday that the company is developing brain chip interfaces that could restore movement and sensation to the limbs of the paralyzed.
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