Neuralink Human Trials Could Start This Year, But Is That Too Soon?



Elon seems to have developed quite the habit of creating news purely by Tweeting and one of Musk’s more recent Tweets suggested Neuralink human trials might start this year. If correct, Neuralink, the company behind a futuristic, but still largely experimental brain implant technology, may be far closer to being available to humans than many had previously thought possible.

Musk is a co-founder and massively vocal advocate for Neuralink, which was announced to the public in 2017. The company’s public-facing initiative is to build devices that will “help people with paralysis” as well as develop technologies that “expand our abilities, our community, and our world.” Musk has also teased at less groundbreaking future uses for the technology, including the ability to telepathically summon a Tesla or stream music straight to one’s brain.

Related: How Twitter Reacted To Elon Musk’s Neuralink Brain Demonstration

Spotify for the skull could be coming a lot sooner than expected, at least according to Musk. In a reply to Twitter user Hamoon Kamai who offered to be available for clinical studies, Musk said that Neuralink was working “super hard” to make sure the implant was safe for humans. Musk also suggested that Neuralink was in “close communication” with the FDA, and the company may be able to begin human trials later this year, if all goes according to plan.

If this seems to be escalating quickly, that’s because it almost certainly is. The only current public demonstration of Nueralink was an event featuring three pigs with brain implants and – while ultimately successful – it was not without its share of hiccups. On the heels of that half-intriguing, half-terrifying performance, is the world really supposed to be on board with putting implants in human brains? While Musk seems to think so, it’s going to take the FDA’s approval to move forward with human trials. To obtain that, Neuralink is going to need to definitively showcase the implants as being completely safe for human experimentation. Seeing as this is essentially uncharted territory, getting the seal of approval may not be such an easy task.

It’s also worth questioning the validity of Musk’s statement. After all, Musk – and Tesla, for that matter – have a well-documented history of over-promising when it comes to timelines for new products and solutions. The Cybertruck, for instance, is a bit further away from production than was initially let on. Like the Cybertruck, this Neuralink technology could have major implications for society in the future. Although, also like Cybertruck, it most likely isn’t as close to being a thing as Musk advertises.

Next: Musk’s Neuralink Could Lead To Hackers Erasing Memories, Researchers Warn

Source: Elon Musk/Twitter

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