Elon Musk has very ambitious plans for the world to fly to Mars with SpaceX. "Universal App" by Twitter. Brain implants capable of transmitting human thoughts via Neuralink.
Musk says this last goal is one step closer to achieving it.
Neuralink, founded by Musk in 2016, plans to implant devices in the human brain that would allow people with neurological disorders to control computers or robotic limbs with their minds. Musk noted that he also wants to "achieve a kind of symbiosis with artificial intelligence" and possibly enable remote communication with the device.
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Musk says human trials should begin in 2023, pending regulatory approval, but the company has pushed back the start date earlier.
Here's what we know about the company's brain implant technology and ambitions.
Neuralink. Elon Musk is promoting brain implant technology to cure disease and activate 'telepathy'
What is Neuralink used for?
The company's website states that the Neuralink Brain-Computer Interface, or BCI, will allow people to wirelessly control a computer or mobile device "just by thinking about it."
The technology is primarily aimed at people with paralysis and other neurological disorders, although Neuralink wants to eventually launch a product with non-medical uses.
Neuralink "Show and tell". What do we know about the beginnings of brain implants?
Is Neuralink FDA approved?
Neuralink still needs approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to get its technology into humans, but Musk says he expects approval in the near future.
The company has submitted most of the required documents to the FDA, the billionaire said during a show and tell event on Wednesday.
"We believe that in about six months we will be able to get our first Neuralink in a human," Musk said, adding that he eventually considered implanting himself.
However, Musk and the company have made bad predictions in the past.
In 2019, executives said they planned to begin human clinical trials in 2020. In April, Musk announced that the company is on track to launch by the end of 2022.
Neuralink Elon Musk. the company plans to implant chips in the human brain to treat neurological disorders
What does Nelink do?
Neuralink's plan is for a surgical robot to implant the device in the areas of the brain that control movement. The device would then process and transmit the neural signals and allow the user to control the keyboard and mouse with their thoughts.
Neuralink's website says it aims to create a "safe, fully implantable and aesthetically invisible" system.
Elon Musk is the owner of Neuralink.
Eight founding members, including Musk, launched Neuralink in 2016. All but Musk and another co-founder have left, Reuters reports.
Musk also runs Twitter, Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company.
Neuralink monkey heads.
According to Neuralink, the company works with monkeys and pigs.
Earlier this year, the nonprofit Committee for Responsible Medicine for Animal Rights filed a lawsuit against UC Davis over brain experiments conducted on 23 monkeys for Neuralink.
The complaint accuses the university of not providing proper veterinary care to the dying monkeys.
According to the Neuralink website, he killed eight animals. Two were withdrawn immediately due to Important histologic findings, one due to device failure, four due to suspected device-related infections, and one due to a surgical complication with BioGlue.
Neuralink said that in response, it developed new surgical protocols for future surgeries.
"We are absolutely committed to working with animals in the most humane and ethical way possible," Neuralink said in a blog post. "While the facilities and care at UC Davis met and continue to meet federal standards, we definitely wanted to improve those standards when we moved the animals into our own facilities."
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This article originally appeared in USA TODAY. Elon Musk's Neuralink wants people to control computers with their minds. How close are they?