The billionaire’s Neuralink implant company wants to help people regain vision and mobility by connecting brains to computers.
Musk said he has no immediate plans to start recruiting participants, with no comment yet from the company.
Neuralink’s previous bid to seek FDA approval was rejected on safety grounds, according to a Reuters report in March that cited multiple current and former employees.
Neuralink hopes to use its microchips to treat conditions such as paralysis and blindness, and to help people with certain disabilities use computers and mobile technology.
The chips, tested on monkeys, were designed to interpret signals produced in the brain and transmit information to devices via Bluetooth.
Musk has also suggested that the previously proposed technology could help alleviate concerns about people being displaced by AI.
The company’s announcement of FDA approval for human testing followed news of a breakthrough involving brain implants from Swiss researchers.
A Dutch paralyzed man was able to walk just thinking, thanks to an implant system that wirelessly transmits his thoughts to his legs and feet.
Announcing the news on Twitter, Neuralink said it’s “an important first step that will one day enable our technology to help many people.”
The approval was “the result of incredible work done by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA,” it said.
We are excited to share that we have received the FDA’s approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study!
This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our…
— Neuralink (@neuralink) May 25, 2023
The firm promised to provide more information “soon” about its plans to enroll trial participants.
The website promises that “safety, accessibility and reliability” are priorities in the engineering process.
Experts warn that if Neuralink’s brain implants become widely available, extensive testing will be required to overcome technical and ethical challenges.
Source: TRT Haber