February 25, 2024

Connecting brain and technology: Musk's startup Neuralink is inserting the first chip into the human brain

Neuralink, a startup owned by tech billionaire Elon Musk, has inserted a brain implant into a patient for the first time since its founding. “The first person received his Neuralink implant yesterday and is recovering well.” Musk wrote on Monday in the SMS service X. Preliminary results of neuronal activity are “promising.”

The company, which was founded in 2016, obtained approval from the US authorities last year to test human brain organ transplants. The implants are about the size of five coins stacked on top of each other. It aims to help people with neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but it also essentially enables direct communication between the brain, computers and artificial intelligence and thus augments human capabilities.

“It allows you to control your cell phone, your computer, or almost any device, just by thinking,” Musk wrote on X. “The first users will be those who can no longer move their limbs.”

Neuralink isn't the only company working on brain-computer interfaces. In July 2022, Synchron, a competing company based in Australia, announced that it was the first company to connect a corresponding chip to the brain of an American patient.