Neuralink has received federal approval to begin human trials on its technology that allows machines to interface with the human brain.
- Neuralink was founded in 2016, with CEO Elon Musk as a founding member, to create technology that can interlink technology and the human brain.
- The company announced on Thursday that the FDA has approved human-trial clinical studies with its existing technology.
- “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,” says the company in a press release.
- Recruiting for human trials has yet to begin, but the company has announced its plans to begin in the coming months, with announcements pending.
Why It’s News
Neuralink has faced an uphill battle with federal approval to get to the approval stage. Musk has been talking up the company since November, believing it is within just a few months of beginning its long-awaited human trials after its technology was successfully tested on animals. On March 2, regulators rejected the company’s most recent appeal to begin human trials, citing safety concerns that set the project back several months.
The company is developing technology designed to interface between the human nervous system and technology, which has created concerns about the dangers of the technology and the full extent of its capabilities. The technology requires implanting a small coin-sized device inside the skull, which is wired directly into the brain. The device is still considered experimental and trials are designed to test its limits and safeness.
The initial use of the technology is aimed at restoring lost functionality to vision and muscles. The company believes it can be used to improve the lives of individuals suffering from debilitating physical conditions, blindness, or paralysis. Musk has stated that he imagines the technology going beyond this initial purpose, opening the door for a transhumanist future where technology and humanity can communicate like never before and potentially merging human consciousness with artificial intelligence.