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Neuralink installs brain implant in first patient, says Musk

SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk on Tuesday said his Neuralink startup had installed a brain implant in its first human patient with “promising” initial results.

The neurotechnology company co-founded by Musk in 2016 aims to build direct communication channels between the brain and computers.

The ambition is to supercharge human capabilities, treat neurological disorders like ALS or Parkinson’s, and maybe one day achieve a symbiotic relationship between humans and artificial intelligence.

“The first human received an implant from Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well,” Musk said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“Initial results show promising neuron spike detection,” he added.

The start-up last year said it won approval from US regulators to test its brain implants in people.

Neuralink’s technology will mainly work through an implant called the “Link” – a device about the size of five stacked coins that is placed inside the human brain through invasive surgery.

According to data company Pitchbook, last year California-based Neuralink had more than 400 employees and has raised at least $363 million.

Though he wins most of the headlines, Musk is hardly alone in trying to make advances in the field, which is officially known as brain-machine or brain-computer interface research.

Hit with delays, the tycoon had reportedly reached out to join forces with implant developer Synchron about a potential investment.

Unlike Neuralink’s Link, its implant version does not require cutting into the skull to install it.

The Australia-based Synchron implanted its first device in a US patient in July 2022. — AFP

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