Elon Musk estimated on Wednesday (November 30) that his start-up Neuralink would be able to implant its first connected device in the brain of a human within six months to communicate with computers directly by thought. “Obviously, we want to be very careful and make sure that it will work well, but we have submitted all our documents to the FDA (the agency responsible for public health in the United States, ed. note.) and we believe that within six months we will be able to get our first implant in a human,” said the head of Tesla, SpaceX (space shuttles) and other startups during a presentation of Neuralink’s progress. “We are now confident that Neuralink’s device is ready for humans, so the timeline depends on the FDA approval process,” he then explained on Twitter, the social network he bought it a month ago.
The billionaire is a stickler for risky predictions, especially about the autonomy of Tesla’s electric cars. In July 2019, he estimated that Neuralink could perform its first tests on humans in 2020. But so far, the coin-sized prototypes have been implanted in the skulls of animals. Thus, several monkeys are able to “play” video games or “type” words on a screen simply by following the movement of the cursor on the screen with their eyes.
Neuralink, Elon Musk’s start-up, is recruiting to test its brain implant
On Wednesday, Elon Musk and Neuralink’s engineers also took stock of the startup’s recent progress in the development of the robotic surgeon and the development of other implants to be installed in the spinal cord or eyes to restore mobility or vision. Beyond the potential to treat neurological diseases, Elon Musk’s ultimate goal is to ensure that humans are not intellectually overwhelmed by artificial intelligence systems.
Elon Musk encourages his employees
Other companies are working on controlling computers by tanks, such as Synchron, which announced in July that it had implemented the first brain-machine interface in the United States. In recent months, Elon Musk has encouraged his employees to work faster. “We will all be dead before anything useful happens,” he told the Neuralink team during a meeting, according to Bloomberg.
Elon Musk: how he wants to implant chips in our brain with Neuralink
He recently fired more than half of Twitter’s employees, as well as heads of social networks who had expressed views contrary to his publicly, and asked the remaining employees to commit to “extremely intense” work. The annual Neuralink conference is supposed to be used to generate calls to recruit various specialists.