Neuralink, led by Elon Musk, has received permission to test implants in humans. Earlier experiments were monkeys who played pong mentally. However, the company was suspected of mishandling them.
The idea of implanting computer interfaces directly into the brain still seems like a science fiction concept to us, although these fantasies are slowly becoming reality. The US regulator has just given permission for Neuralink to conduct the first human trials of electronic implants.
Elon Musk’s company has been promising this for years, and the promise has been delayed at least four times. The company has previously conducted extensive animal testing. The chips were installed by pigs and monkeys – with varying degrees of success.
Neuralink with permission from human trials is the next step towards electronic implants
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first human clinical trials of Neuralink implants. This is potentially a big step towards the development of humanity, but on the other hand, Elon Musk is not known for… maintaining a high level of security.
So far, the company has only announced the approval. It was also immediately noted that it was not yet registered for clinical trials. Musk has previously mentioned that he intends to install the chip himself. However, it does not seem that the billionaire wants to be one of the first testers of the new technology.
Interestingly, in March 2023, the FDA rejected Elon Musk’s request to start testing. As Reuters journalists recall, in 2022, the American regulator also pointed to “dozens of problems” with the Neuralink device.
This was, among other things, about the safety of the device’s battery, the movement of the device’s wires in the brain, and concerns about the damage to the mind that removal of the implant could cause after testing was completed.
Neuralink charged with animal cruelty
As we wrote in Wprost.pl, at the end of last year, Neuralink became the subject of a federal investigation by the USDA. It is about concern for the welfare of animals used in clinical trials of the company’s implants.
Twenty former and current employees of the company told the media that due to the enormous pressure from Musk, researchers made careless mistakes during testing and caused suffering and death of animals.
According to the report, as of 2018, about 1,500 animals, including sheep, pigs, and monkeys, were killed while testing Neuralink. The company made some reckless mistakes, including using the wrong surgical adhesive or the wrong size brain chip. They forced the scientists to kill these animals and start experimenting again.
I have been working as a news website writer for over 10 years. I have also authored several books on technology news. I am highly knowledgeable in the field of technology and enjoy sharing my insights with others. I am an active user of LinkedIn and use it to connect with other professionals in my field. I am always interested in learning new things and sharing my knowledge with others.