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Elon Musk Says Neuralink Could Start Human Trials By The End Of The Year

Elon Musk Says Neuralink Could Start Human Trials By The End Of The Year

Musk says the brain microchip could be limitless in its potential and even rival artificial intelligence.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Elon Musk's brain chip device could begin human trials by the end of the year.

Many have wondered when we could see real people testing out the Neuralink device and Musk seemed confident it wasn't far off.

A follower told Elon he was in a terrible car accident 20 years ago that left him paralysed and he offered up his body and mind for human trials.

Musk replied: "Neuralink is working super hard to ensure implant safety & is in close communication with the FDA. If things go well, we might be able to do initial human trials later this year."

The Neuralink is a microchip that can be implanted into a human or animal's brain and would work in tandem with the mind.


Musk has previously claimed the device is potentially limitless, and could even allow humans to compete with artificial intelligence.

The start-up's head neurosurgeon Matthew MacDougall spoke at a presentation last year to say the company has so far only implanted the chip into the brain's cortical surface.

However, in the future they're hoping to go deeper into areas such as the hypothalamus, which is believed to play a crucial role in mental illnesses.

This reflects an earlier statement in which Musk said the device could be used to retrain the part of the brain responsible for causing addiction, depression or anxiety.

In his most recent display of the device's efficacy, the Tesla founder revealed he had implanted the chip into the brain of a monkey.

"We've already got a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull, and the tiny wires, who can play video games using his mind," Musk said in an interview on the Good Time Show.

"He's not uncomfortable, and he doesn't look weird. And you can't even see where the neural implant went in.

"One of the things we're trying to figure out is can we have the monkeys play mind 'Pong' with each other. That would be pretty cool."

Musk officially unveiled the Neuralink in action last year in the form of a pig named Gertrude.

As Gertrude snuffled around her pen, a series of beeping sounds could be heard, which were the real-time signals from the coin-sized brain-computer interface.

During the presentation, Musk took the time to answer audience questions, with one person asking whether the technology could eventually allow users to save and replay memories.

Musk drew comparisons to interface seen in Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror episode, adding: "Yes, I think in the future you'll be able to save and replay memories.

"I mean, this is obviously sounding increasingly like a Black Mirror episode. But... well, I guess they're pretty good at predicting."

The multibillionaire went on to say: "Essentially, if you have a whole brain interface, everything that's encoded in memory you could upload.

"You could basically store your memories as a backup and restore the memories. Then ultimately you could potentially download them into a new body or into a robot body.

"The future's going to be weird."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: elon musk, News, Technology