Inspenet, September 22, 2023.
Over the past few weeks, Elon Musk has been in the crosshairs of critics for his Neuralink project. The company recently faced accusations of animal cruelty and safety concerns due to its experiments with brain implants. However, after obtaining approval from US authorities last May to continue its activities, the next step involves searching for volunteers.
Neuralink is looking for individuals willing to undergo the insertion of these brain implants, which are intended to read and transmit the brain signals of test subjects. The brain signals captured by these implants will be transmitted through an application and subsequently decoded with the goal of allowing a person with paralysis to perform tasks such as controlling the movement of a mouse cursor or keyboard through their thoughts.
Elon Musk talks about requirements
“Those who have quadriplegia due to a cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may qualify,” says Elon Musk ‘s company, according to a statement issued this week.
Although no comprehensive details have been provided, this moment marks a significant milestone in conducting brain implant experiments.
One of the most recent experiments, carried out on a monkey, allowed the animal to play Pong and write on a screen, creating an almost telepathic experience.
Now, the human trial has more ambitious goals. The company has explained the steps to follow in the so-called PRIME (Precise Robotically Implanted Brain – Computer Interface) study.
The first step will be to evaluate the safety of the implant, known as N1 , which is practically undetectable, in collaboration with the surgical robot designated for this task.
The implant will then be inserted into the brain through the human skull, connecting electrodes that function similarly to wires.
The Neuralink device is housed in a biocompatible packaging that includes a rechargeable battery that supplies power to the custom chip and more than fifty wires. In total, 1,024 electrodes will be installed in the brain tissue.