Neuralink, a brain-computer interface (BCI) startup led by Elon Musk, has reportedly obtained approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct trials involving its surgically implanted brain device in humans.
Although the details of these trials are not yet clear, Neuralink has stated that it is not currently accepting applicants. It is worth recalling that Neuralink initially faced challenges when it was denied FDA approval for human trials in early 2022 due to safety concerns.
FDA approves Neuralink,Elon Musk’s brain-chip company,to launch its first-in-human clinical study‼️
Elon Musk’s brain-implant company Neuralink said the U.S. FoodandDrugAdministration had given the green light to its first-in-human clinical trial‼️☝️https://t.co/XLi82gnQg5 pic.twitter.com/pIe7jjRYLV
— Sophia Dahl (@sophiadahl1) May 27, 2023
However, the company has addressed these concerns, leading to the FDA’s change of stance and allowing limited testing of its implanted BCI device. Hence, this development suggests that Neuralink has made progress in addressing safety issues and is now permitted to proceed with testing its innovative brain device on a small scale.
Neuralink’s BCI: Advancing Medical Treatment & Human-Machine Interaction
Elon Musk envisions that the brain-computer interface (BCI) developed by Neuralink would have several applications. It could help people with medical conditions like epilepsy, offering potential treatment options.
Furthermore, it could enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, enabling them to control a computer cursor using eye movement or even thoughts.
The FDA has approved Elon Musk’s brain chip company, Neuralink, to launch its first human clinical study pic.twitter.com/Z2lbW916u8
— HBMtv (@HBM__tv) May 27, 2023
In the meantime, Musk has expressed a broader goal for the device—to create a general-purpose BCI accessible to the general public. This type of BCI would allow humans to interact with machines directly through their thoughts, enhancing our capabilities and protecting against the fear of being replaced by machines.
Advancing Neuralink’s Vision: Human Testing and Exploring BCI Applications
Neuralink has so far conducted testing on laboratory animals like monkeys and pigs. This is why the company faced a federal probe regarding alleged animal mistreatment, but Neuralink denied any wrongdoing, and the investigation seems to have concluded quietly. Another investigation is ongoing concerning the transportation of contaminated devices.
As human testing becomes possible, Elon Musk’s vision of human-AI hybrids edges closer to reality. It’s an ideal time for developers and entrepreneurs to delve into the applications of a recreational, surgically implanted BCI. Together, we can explore the vast possibilities and create a future where human potential is amplified.
Unlocking New Possibilities: BCIs for Enhanced Smartphone Interaction and Blockchain Validation
Elon Musk has proposed that BCIs could revolutionize smartphone usage, enabling people to control their devices faster using their minds rather than thumbs.
It should be noted that recent research from the University of Texas has shown promising results, indicating that AI systems similar to ChatGPT can interpret brain waves to a certain extent.
Another intriguing potential application emerges from Microsoft’s patents. Filed in 2018 and 2019, these patents describe a wearable “sensor” that could serve as proof-of-work for cryptocurrency rewards and blockchain mining/validation.
This means that with a BCI like Neuralink’s and a system like the one described in the Microsoft patent, it may be possible to verify proof-of-work using brain waves alone, offering exciting possibilities for the cryptocurrency and blockchain communities.
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