FDA approves first human trials for Elon Musk’s brain chip company Neuralink – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — Elon Musk’s brain chip company Neuralink announced that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its product for human trials.

“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 technology to help many people,” Musk’s company wrote in a tweet.

“Recruitment is not yet open for our clinical trial. We’ll announce more information on this soon!” Neuralink added.

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Neuralink has been a passion project for Musk since its founding in 2016. The tech mogul has stated in the past that the connection of the human brain to a computer holds promise for a broad range of applications, from restoring disabled patients’ eyesight and motor function to mentally controlling electronic devices.

He also touts the project as a safeguard against artificial intelligence (AI) eventually becoming “much smarter than humans” and controlling society. Only by “merging” with AI, Musk claims, will humans develop the capacity to stay ahead of and protect themselves from it.

READ: Elon Musk gears up to merge human brains with computer chips, clinical trials in 2020  

The ultimate goal of Neuralink is “to secure humanity’s future as a civilization relative to AI,” Musk told the audience in a speech at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco in 2019.

“After solving a bunch of brain related diseases there is the mitigation of the existential threat of AI,” he continued. “This is the point of it.”

“This is something I think that’s going to be really important at civilization level scale,” said Musk.

“I’ve said a lot about AI over the years, but I think that even in a benign AI scenario, we will be left behind.”

READ: The simple reason why AI will never be smarter than human beings

The brain implant has produced mixed results in animal trials so far. Some monkey test subjects implanted with the chip have successfully moved computer cursors, though 15 of 23 reportedly died from brain hemorrhages, self-mutilation, or bloody rashes between 2017 and 2020.

Neuralink is not the first company to start human trials with a brain-computer interface. In 2022, the New York-based tech company Synchron, financed by billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, already implanted its first mind-reading device into a U.S. patient in a clinical trial.