Less than a year has passed since we saw Pager play Ping-Pong using Neuralink. The company’s owner, Elon Musk has now said that he is confident of testing the chip in humans next year.
Founded in July 2016, the company is busy building an implantable chip that will allow the human brain to interact with computers directly. The company made headlines when its experimental macaque played Ping-Pong telepathically, without the help of a joystick. The company seems to have made rapid progress in its technology since its founder is quite optimistic about human testing.
Although there is no official communiqué from Neuralink, a stock investor on Twitter quoted Musk to say that the company was planning to test the chip soon. The tweet that tagged both Musk and Neuralink said that Musk was “cautiously optimistic” about restoring full-body functionality for tetraplegics & quadriplegics.
The tweet further added that Neuralink’s standards for implanting its devices were much higher than what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. required. Musk, who did not refute the claims, instead replied to the tweet.
I am definitely not saying that we can for sure do this, but I am increasingly confident that it is possible
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 7, 2021
Musk is quite known for setting ambitious goals with his projects which do not necessarily follow the deadlines. This has been true for automobiles where the supply chain is a major hurdle. With the brain chip, there are bound to be many regulatory hurdles to pass and limits to what can and cannot be done using the chip.
Added to the mix will be addressing concerns of privacy that come with technology as radical as this. Even though human testing might be approved, for now, wide-scale adoption would meet many more challenges. According to this Forbes report, there are many other companies working in the area and Neuralink doesn’t have the first-mover advantage, something that Musk’s other companies tend to have.