Elon Musk’s Neuralink Implants Chip Into Brain Of First Human Subject
Neuralink logo displayed on mobil with founder Elon Musk seen on screen in the background. Neuralink Corporation is a neurotechnology company that develops implantable brain-computer interfaces. In Brussels on 4 December 2022.
Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk announced on Monday that his neurotechnology company Neuralink successfully implanted a brain chip into the first human subject.

The Neuralink brain implant is a “brain-computer interface” technology that seeks to help people with debilitating conditions, such as paralysis, to interact with the world by controlling devices with their thoughts, The Wall Street Journal reported. Musk, who founded Neuralink along with a team of scientists in 2016, said the first patient received the implant on Sunday and “is recovering well.”

“Initial results show promising neuron spike detection,” Musk added, which means the Neuralink device is detecting signals from neurons in the brain, according to the WSJ.

The brain chip, roughly the size of a quarter, sends out brain signal data to a Neuralink app, which decodes the data into actions, Bloomberg reported. The company hopes the breakthrough brain technology will help people who are paralyzed or suffer from vision or hearing loss. Eventually, Musk hopes Neuralink will help humans work together with ever-evolving artificial intelligence (AI).

After the FDA gave Neuralink the green light to begin clinical trials on humans last year and the company started recruiting test subjects, Musk wrote, “The first human patient will soon receive a Neuralink device. This ultimately has the potential to restore full body movement.”

“In the long term, Neuralink hopes to play a role in AI … civilizational risk reduction by improving human to AI (and human to human) bandwidth by several orders of magnitude,” Musk continued. “Imagine if Stephen Hawking had had this.”

Before implanting its first human subject with a brain chip, Neuralink tested its technology on monkeys, showing videos of the animals playing the game “Pong” on computers. Neuralink didn’t provide any information about the human subject, but its website says the “first clinical trial is open to recruitment” for people with “limited or no ability to use both hands due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).”

Musk said on Monday that the first Neuralink product “is called Telepathy,” adding that it “enables control of your phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking.”


“Initial users will be those who have lost the use of their limbs,” Musk said. “Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal.”

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