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Elon Musk’s Neuralink carries out its first human brain chip implant; everything you need to know

Elon Musk’s Neuralink has started to ‘mess’ with people’s heads – literally! The neurotechnology company has announced that it has performed its first human brain implant just months after it reportedly received interest from thousands of applicants. Neuralink received FDA approval last year for conducting human trials, and now, the first test has been carried out.

In an X post on Tuesday, Musk announced, “The first human received an implant from @Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well. Initial results show promising neuron spike detection.” Here’s everything you need to know about the Neuralink experiment.

All about the Neuralink experiment

The experiment is called ‘PRIME Study’ which is expected to last 6 years. As per reports, Neuralink has built a 4mm-square chipset, called N1, which is meant to be implanted into the inside of the skull. The chip has extremely thin wires attached to it that reach into the brain. The wires can receive and detect brain signals that are relayed between neurons, and they can generate their own impulse as well, which imitate that of the neurons. Musk says the device is named Telepathy.

According to the company, the chip can connect with 1000 different brain cells. A patient can have up to 10 chips implanted, the company claims. The experiment builds upon decades of technology aimed at implanting electrodes in human brains to interpret signals and treat conditions such as paralysis, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, Bloomberg reported. It is just one of the 11 surgeries that Neuralink aims to perform in 2024.

How will it help people?

According to Musk, this Neuralink experiment aims to primarily help people with paralysis. Over time, it could potentially be used to aid those with vision and hearing impairments. But the ultimate goal? Merging humanity with artificial intelligence (AI), which is something straight out of Cyberpunk 2077.

Who all are eligible?

To qualify for the study, there is a condition. Neuralink’s patient registry application states that the volunteers must suffer from one of the following conditions: quadriplegia, paraplegia, visual impairment or blindness, aphasia or the inability to speak, hearing impairment or deafness, and/or major limb amputation (affecting above or below the elbow and/or above or below the knee).

Patients must also be legal adults, meaning at least 18 years old and the age of majority in their state. They should also be a US citizen or a permanent resident.

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