Elon Musk’s company Neuralink looking for first volunteer to have robot insert wires inside their skull

A company owned by Elon Musk is looking for a volunteer for a rather unusual experiment.
Launching into both literal space and cyberspace is clearly not enough for billionaire Musk, who also owns the company Neuralink.

In layperson's terms, Neuralink is researching how to insert chips into people's brains as a way to help restore lost limb function.

Neurolink founder DJ Seo told Bloomberg News: “The short-term goal of the company is to build a generalized brain interface and restore autonomy to those with debilitating neurological conditions and unmet medical needs."

There's just one catch, which is that they need volunteers to be able to test how the device will work on an actual person.

That means that someone will need to volunteer to have a hole drilled in their skull and a device inserted by a robot.

It will be made up of the chip, about the size of a quarter, and tiny wires and electrodes thinner than a human hair.
Originally, the company had planned to get approval to implant this device into ten patients, but then negotiated a lower number with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The exact number of approved patients is not known.

But Musk doesn't want to stop at conditions affecting mobility.

He also has ambitions to use the chips with mental health conditions such as depression and schizophrenia, and even to 'treat' developmental conditions such as autism.

Ultimately, Neuralink wants to move beyond just medical applications, saying that it would 'unlock human potential'.

Seo said: “The long-term goal is to have this available for billions of people and unlock human potential and go beyond our biological capabilities.”
However, the company has already encountered difficulties in its development, facing a federal probe in 2022 after employee backlash over animal testing.

Reuters reported that staff at Neuralink had complained that animal testing was being 'rushed'.

An investigation by Reuters found that as of December 2022, the company had killed around 1,500 animals, including more than 280 sheep, pigs, and monkeys, in experiments carried out since 2018.

The deaths of the animals is not necessarily a violation of US regulation on animal testing, but employees claimed that the number of deaths may have been higher than necessary due to Musk's demand for greater progress on testing.

Things have clearly progressed, with the company now exploring the possibly of moving forward to testing on humans.

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