Elon Musk announces 1st brain implant to digitize ‘telepathy’

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The Musk startup had reportedly recruited paralyzed volunteers for the human trials of the chip.

The surface of the brain. Image credit X @neuralink

The surface of the brain. Image credit X @neuralink

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, January 30: Billionaire Elon Musk on Tuesday broke the news that a first brain implant has been done and the initial response showed that the chip has triggered neural signals as well. The announcement appears to further the widening ambit of the artificial intelligence.

Musk said that the first human brain implant has showed promising neuron spike detection. If the aims of the chip are achieved, the users may just need to think a command to see the results unfolding. Musk is envisaging a world ahead of speaking commands to ‘Alexa’.    

The Spectator also quoted Musk having claimed that “first human patient has received a brain implant from his startup Neuralink”. The implant was done yesterday, said The Spectator, adding that the patient is “recovering well”.

Musk in a post on the social media platform X said that the “first Neuralink product is called Telepathy”. He added that the chip would enable control of “your phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking”. He has also stated that the initial beneficiaries of the device would be “those who have lost the use of their limbs”.

Musk elaborated on the vision behind the chip, saying: “Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal.”

Vox in a report said that Musk had launched the startup in 2016. It added that the startup claimed in 2019 that “it had created flexible threads that can be implanted into a brain”. The portal also had stated that the threads could be implanted “along with a sewing-machine-like robot to do the implanting.”

The threads once implanted in the human brain would read “signals from a paralyzed patient’s brain and transmit that data to an iPhone or computer, enabling the patient to control it with just their thoughts — no need to tap or type or swipe”, as per Vox.

The portal also stated that until May last year the Musk startup had done testing on animals only. The startup claimed that it got the approval of the US regulator to conduct human trials in May last year. The Musk startup had reportedly recruited paralyzed volunteers for the human trials of the chip. It also claimed that the technology may enable to improve the lives of “millions of people who have lost capabilities of their limbs”.

There are roughly 5.4 million people suffering from paralysis in the US. The World Health Organization in a report a few years ago had claimed that 15 per cent of the population across the continents suffer from some forms of disabilities. The WHO also had said that 2-4 per cent of the population of the world suffer from significant loss of functionality of the limbs.

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