We Live In Wild Times As Musk’s Neuralink Performs First Human Brain Chip Implant

hero neuralink brain image
Neuralink, founded by Elon Musk, has announced that its first human patient has received a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant. The procedure uses a surgical robot to place the BCI implant via a needle that is thinner than a human hair.

The company received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to conduct its first human trial last year. Since then, Neuralink has been silent about how the search for a candidate was going. However, a tweet shared by Elon Musk yesterday indicated the company was successful in not only finding a good candidate, but also with the first surgical implant as well.

The short response from Musk read, “The first human received an implant from @Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well.” He added, “Initial results show promising neuron spike detection.”

elon musk neuralink tweet

The National Institutes of Health describes neurons as “nerve cells that send messages all over your body to allow you to do everything from breathing to talking, eating, walking, and thinking.”

In order to perform the delicate surgery, a human surgeon first cuts a small hole into the patient’s skull. Once the hole is made, the robotic surgeon, R1, takes over. The robot sutures the electrified wires of Neuralink’s implant directly into the patient’s brain. If successful, the implanted wires carry data back and forth between the brain and Neuralink servers.

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Neuralink surgical robot, R1.

The company has not progressed without its share of controversy, however. There have been claims in the past that some of the animals that were used during testing underwent “grotesque” animal abuse, with some eventually dying as a result. However, seeing as the company had to gain FDA clearance to proceed with human trials, one would hope those alleged practices are in Neuralink's rearview.

The company previously stated that its initial goal with its brain-computer interface implant, is to enable people to control a computer cursor or keyboard using only their thoughts. Neuralink’s website adds it will hopefully one day restore independence and improve the lives of those who receive the implant.

While nothing other than Musk’s tweet has been announced by Neuralink, the company is still accepting applications for possible future recipients on its website via its Patient Registry.