Elon Musk Targets 2022 for Neuralink Implants That Could Cure Paralysis in Humans
‘Don’t want to raise hopes unreasonably, but I’m increasingly convinced that this could be done’
Elon Musk has said he does not want to “raise hopes unreasonably” but is “increasingly confident” his brain-machine interface startup Neuralink will have its first implant devices in humans by 2022.
The billionaire said he is “cautiously optimistic” the implants can restore full-body functionality for tetraplegics and quadriplegics, adding that the company’s standards for implanting the brain-computer interface device are higher than what the FDA requires.
“I think we have a chance with Neuralink to restore full-body functionality to someone who has a spinal cord injury,” Musk said in a video interview during the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Conference.
“I don’t want to raise hopes unreasonably, but I’m increasingly convinced that this could be done,” he added.
The company said with six weeks of practice, the monkey learned to play Pong, the 1970’s classic video game, in return for a banana smoothie reward.
“To control his paddle on the right side of the screen, Pager simply thinks about moving his hand up or down,” Neuralink had said in the video.
Following the release of the video, Musk tweeted that the first Neuralink products would enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind “faster than someone using thumbs,” with later versions that would help “paraplegics to walk again.”
In August, last year, the company released a video of a pig named Gertrude which was surgically implanted with a brain-monitoring device that enabled its brain activity to be recorded in a computer in real-time.
These experiments, the startup has claimed, are early steps that could one day enable people with paralysis to operate computers and mobile devices with ease only using their neural activity.
“I am definitely not saying that we can for sure do this, but I am increasingly confident that it is possible,” he tweeted on Tuesday.
Source: The Independent