Elon Musk says Neuralink implanted wireless brain chip

Kathmandu: Tech billionaire Elon Musk has claimed his Neuralink company has successfully implanted one of its wireless brain chips in a human. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, he said “promising” brain activity had been detected after the procedure and the patient was “recovering well”.

The company’s goal is to connect human brains to computers to help tackle complex neurological conditions. A number of rival firms have already implanted similar devices. “For any company producing medical devices, the first test in humans is a significant milestone,” said Professor Anne Vanhoestenberghe of King’s College London.

“For the brain chip implant community, we must place this news in the context that whilst there are many companies working on exciting products, there are only a few other companies who have implanted their devices in humans, so Neuralink has joined a rather small group.”

However, she also suggested there needed to be a note of caution as “true success” could only be evaluated in the long-term. “We know Elon Musk is very adept at generating publicity for his company,” she added. Among the other companies to make similar advances in the field is the École Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne (EPFL), in Switzerland, which has successfully enabled a paralysed man to walk just by thinking.

That was achieved by putting electronic implants on his brain and spine which wirelessly communicate thoughts to his legs and feet. Details of the breakthrough were published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature in May 2023. There has been no independent verification of Mr Musk’s claims, nor has Neuralink provided any information about the procedure he says has taken place.

BBC News has approached both Neuralink and the US’s medical regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for comment.

News Source: BBC