With a Neuralink brain implant embedded in a human for the first time, Elon Musk has revealed what it’s able to do.
The breakthrough technology, named ‘Telepathy’, per Musk on X, enables individuals to control electronic devices such as phones and computers simply by thinking.
It marks a significant milestone in neurotechnology.
While critics fear it could create real-life cyborgs, the initial focus of the tech is to aid those living with disabilities.
In particular, those who have lost limb function.
It’s hoped that it has the potential to significantly enhance communication abilities and interaction with technology.
“(Telepathy) enables control of your phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking,” Musk announced today on X.
“Initial users will be those who have lost the use of their limbs.
“Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal.”
A video via Neuralink expands the explanation further: “Imagine the joy of connecting with your loved ones, browsing the web or even playing games using only your thoughts,” it begins.
“This is made possible by placing a small, cosmetically invisible implant in a part of your brain that plans movement.“
It continues: “The device is designed to interpret your neural activity so you can operate a computer or smartphone by simply thinking about moving.
“No physical movement or wires are required.
“By participating in the Prime study, you’d be helping to redefine the boundaries of human capability.”
In practical terms, however, this technology has the potential to change our lives in the future.
Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the company clearance to conduct tests on humans after successfully implanting chips in monkeys.
One example Musk has cited on more than occasion during various interviews is people who have lost their sight.
With Neuralink, these chips can send signals to the brain, which then turn those signals into vision.
This is not going to happen tomorrow, or possibly in the next 10 years – but that’s the idea.
Neuralink chips are designed to detect neuron spikes and help them operate when they can’t do so on their own.
There was a long initial search for a volunteer.
This technology is still in its infancy stage, and Neuralink’s value reflects that.
Neuralink is valued at ‘just’ $5 billion – making it Musk’s least valuable company.