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Elon Musk announced that Neuralink will implant the first chip in a human brain in 2023

“We think we can restore vision to people who were born blind,” said the billionaire.

Billionaire Elon Musk said Wednesday that a wireless device developed by his neural chip company is expected to Neuralink begin human clinical trials in about 6 months, and that one of its first applications planned for 2023 It will be the restoration of vision in blind people.

The interface, produced by the Neuralink start-up, would allow the interested party to communicate directly with the computers through the thoughtspointed out the tycoon.

The product consists of a small device in the shape of a coin and a series of wires and electrodes that are implanted after making a small incision in the skull, to place these components in the brain.

Also on the pipeline are brain chip interfaces that Musk admits could allow disabled patients to move and communicate again.

“Obviously, we want to be extremely careful and be sure that it will work before putting it inside a person,” he said.

At one point, he made reference to the evolution of the robot that inserts the chip, known as Link or R1, to the debugging of tungsten needles, whose production time has been drastically reduced, pointing to future series production.

The robo surgeon manages to make all the connections in about 20 minutes safely, Musk said. Inside, a decoder trained by artificial intelligence algorithms will translate neural activity into a cursor movement or a key press.

The businessman reported that he has already completed the process required by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the body in charge of regulating the use of medicines, products and surgical procedures for the public.

“If all goes well, probably in six months we will be able to put our first Neuralink in a human,” Musk said to the applause of those present. The conference was followed by millions of people around the world.

Neuralink: all set

Elon Musk, during the previous presentation. Neuralink

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Austin, Texas, Neuralink has conducted animal testing in recent years while seeking US regulatory approval to begin human clinical trials.

The first two human applications targeted by the Neuralink device will be the vision restoration and the ability to move muscles in people who can’t, Musk said.

Thus, one would be inserted into the spinal cord and could cure paralysis and another eye implant would be able to improve or restore human vision. “Even if someone has never had vision, like they were born blind, we believe we can restore vision,” she added.

The event was originally scheduled for October 31, but Musk postponed it days before without giving a reason. Neuralink’s last public presentation, more than a year ago, featured a monkey with a brain chip playing a computer game thinking to itself.

Neuralink, however, is behind schedule. Musk said in a 2019 presentation that his goal was to receive regulatory approval by the end of 2020. He then told a conference in late 2021 that he hoped to start human trials this year.


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