Neuralink claims to have received the green light from the US authorities to test its brain implants on humans
Elon Musk’s company’s project, which aims to manufacture and market brain chips, may take a new step in the coming months.
The US drug agency, FDA, has given its approval to Neuralink to establish a human clinical trial, Elon Musk’s company announced on Twitter.
“This is an important first step that will one day enable our technology to help many people,” the company says.
Neuralink is one of several companies created by Elon Musk. The boss of SpaceX and Tesla quietly launched it in 2016 in hopes of making brain implants. In practice, Neuralink needs to design brain-computer interfaces that would allow equipment to be controlled remotely by just thinking.
The applications are numerous. It would, for example, restore mobility to paralyzed people by allowing them to interact with their surroundings or easily manipulate mechanical arms. Implants could also be a solution to neurological disorders, promises Neuralink.
In December, Elon Musk hoped for human tests “within six months”. The timing is therefore almost respected, since the “recruitment” is not yet open for the tests, explains the company, which specifies that it will communicate later.
At the moment, the experiments are carried out only on animals, but the process presents a problem: by speeding up the experiments to hope for human trials as soon as possible, says Neuralink would have led to ill-treatment or even death many pigs, sheep and monkeys.
The US Department of Transportation has also opened an investigation into Neuralink to find out whether the company transported dangerous pathogens illegally.