Elon Musk start-up is now apparently allowed to experiment on humans Feathers instead of scales – Swiss researchers change chicken legs

According to the American company Neuralink, it has received approval for experiments on humans. It wants to test chips in the brain.
An article from

t online

After the technical disaster on Twitter during an interview with US presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, Elon Musk may announce more positive news from one of his other ventures.

The company Neuralink, founded by the Twitter owner, has received permission from the US authorities to test computer chips in the human brain. “We are pleased to announce that we have received FDA approval to initiate our first human clinical trial,” Neuralink said on Twitter Thursday.

FDA approval is “an important first step”. The FDA would have rejected such an application in March, the Reuters news agency reported.

Neuralink isn’t the only company working on BCIs (brain-computer interfaces).

What’s planned?

Musk wants to use Neuralink implants to communicate directly with computers through thoughts. “Of course we want to be extremely careful and make sure it works properly before we put a device in a human,” Musk said in December.

The billionaire is known for announcing ambitious goals for his companies, some of which never materialize. He was also behind schedule with Neuralink: Musk announced in July 2019 that he would be able to conduct the first tests on humans the following year.

So far, however, the roughly coin-sized prototypes have only been implanted in animals. During the Neuralink presentation, monkeys were shown using the brain chip to “play” simple video games or move a cursor on a screen.

What should that help?

Musk wants to use the interfaces to cure neurological disorders. The start-up is currently developing other implants that can be placed in the spinal cord or eyes to restore mobility or vision. However, his primary goal, according to Musk, is to ensure that people are not intellectually overwhelmed by systems with artificial intelligence.

To plant the implants, Neuralink helped develop the right robot. The machine aims to connect the fine lines of the minicomputer with human tissue. The operation would later be almost nothing to see, Musk said. Only a small scar would be left under the hair.

Neuralink isn’t the only company working on BCIs (brain-computer interfaces). In July 2022, competitor Synchron announced that it was the first company to have implanted a corresponding chip in the brain of an American patient.

What about critical voices?

There is no lack of criticism of the Musk company. The journal “Technology Review” already wrote at the presentation of the project that it was about “neuroscientific theatre”.

In the late 1990s, researchers had already installed probes in the brains of paralyzed people. In doing so, they showed that signals could enable them to move robotic arms or computer cursors. And mice with visual implants could already see infrared rays, the journal wrote.

Some scientists are skeptical: “We can’t read people’s minds. The amount of information we can decipher from the brain is very limited,” Giacomo Valle, a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago, US, told DW.

Juan Alvaro Gallego, a BCI researcher at Imperial College London, UK, agreed, arguing that it’s hard to imagine BCIs reading our minds in this lifetime.

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(t-online/dsc)

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Amelia

Amelia

I am Amelia James, a passionate journalist with a deep-rooted interest in current affairs. I have more than five years of experience in the media industry, working both as an author and editor for 24 Instant News. My main focus lies in international news, particularly regional conflicts and political issues around the world.

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