Elon Musk is a major proponent of artificial intelligence and its seemingly endless capabilities, so much so that he even started his own company based around the concept. Neuralink, his brain implant venture that aims to connect human brains with AI, experienced a major victory this week, obtaining approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin using the chip in its first human trial, Reuters reports.
Musk and Neuralink previously tried and failed to get the green light from the FDA to actually put their chips in human brains but failed. Finally getting this nod “represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people,” the company said in a tweet.
Previous FDA approval attempts failed as the regulator had some big concerns, from the fact that Neuralink’s brain chip uses a lithium-ion battery and the chance of its wiring moving in the brain to how it could safely be removed without damaging the brain. It seems Neuralink has addressed these concerns in some way.
Neuralink has been seeking approval for a human trial since 2022
We are excited to share that we have received the FDA’s approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study!
This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our…
— Neuralink (@neuralink) May 25, 2023
It’s unclear what exactly Neuralink hopes to learn from its study in humans. However, Musk has previously claimed that brain implants could cure everything from depression and schizophrenia to obesity and autism. He’s so sure of their power that he claims he would even put the chips in his own kids.
It’s also important to note that the federal government isn’t necessarily thrilled about Neuralink, and the company has been subject to investigation on several occasions over allegations of rushed trials, ignoring safety procedures when transporting pathogens from monkey brains, and animal welfare concerns. Neuralink has never commented on these allegations and it seems they’re unlikely to in the future.
I don’t know about you, but I won’t be rushing to implant anything in my brain at any point, no matter who says they’re safe!
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