By Alex Singleton
The billionaire who runs Tesla has claimed that the first human has successfully received a computer brain implant.
On the social media network X, Elon Musk wrote: “The first human received an implant from @Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well.”
Mr Musk added that: “Initial results show promising neuron spike detection.”
The statement was made without further detail or third-party verification.
Neuralink, a startup backed by Mr Musk, said last May that it had received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to begin human trials.
The company has subsequently been recruiting patients with paralysis, who could potentially benefit from implants to help them communicate and control external electronics.
The technology, if it ultimately proves successful, has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of disabled patients.
Neuralink has been developing “cosmetically invisible” implants that are hermetically sealed, powered by wireless charging from outside the body. The company says they process neural signals and transmit them wirelessly to a Neuralink app, which decodes them.
It has also developed a robot to insert the implants because “the threads of our implant are so fine that they can’t be inserted by the human hand.”
Last June, Reuters estimated that Neuralink, which was founded in 2016, was already worth around $US5 billion ($7.6 billion) based on privately traded shares.
Mr Musk has spent years overcoming sceptics to grow businesses that many thought would fail. He took on the world’s established carmakers and turned Tesla, a startup, into one of America’s most valuable companies.
A series of entrepreneurial bets has turned him into one of the world’s richest people. But his $US44 billion acquisition of Twitter, now X, in 2022 led to mounting criticism of his behaviour and generated concerns that he is spreading himself too thinly.
The backlash came to a head in November after the billionaire was accused of supporting an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory in a social media post. Advertisers including Apple, IBM and Disney cancelled their advertising with X.
Mr Musk conceded that his post, which was accused of being anti-Semitic, was the “worst and dumbest I’ve ever done”.
The Telegraph London
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Source: Thanks smh.com