Elon Musk cheers approval to test Neuralink brain implants on humans
Elon Musk cheered the FDA’s approval for brain-implant company Neuralink to start testing the tech on humans, but some were not keen on being part of the clinical study, calling it “too intrusive.”
“We are excited to share that we have received the FDA’s approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study!” Neuralink tweeted on Thursday.
“This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first stop that will one day allow our technology to help many people,” the post said.
“Congratulations Neuralink team!” Musk said in response.
Neuralink — based in the San Francisco Bay Area and, Austin, Texas — first announced that it would host human clinical trials in December, after sharing that it was developing brain chip interfaces that could give paralyzed and other neurologically-disabled patients the ability to move and communicate again.
The tech, which Musk has said could also restore someone’s vision, has been tested on animals in recent years, while it was seeking the FDA’s approval to start human trials.
“Recruitment is not yet open for our clinical trial. We’ll announce more information on this soon,” the company said.
Many on Musk-owned Twitter said they were in no hurry to be used as guinea pigs.
“Not really trying to implant a chip on my brain, too intrusive for my tastes,” one user tweeted.
“Bro just make a removable earpiece AI,” another said.
Another called for legislation to regulate Neuralink.
“If it was only going to be used to help people with disabilities then it would be great. Unfortunately, we know that is not the case. There needs to be legislation in place to protect people when the use of this technology gets out of hand,” the user tweeted.
Yet another called it “a great turning point in human history or one of history’s worst creations.”
The FDA confirmed to The Post on Friday it “understands that Neuralink has announced that its investigational device exemption (IDE) for its implant/R1 robot was approved by the FDA and that it may now begin conducting human clinical trials for its device.”
The federal agency did not comment any further on the tech.
Musk, 51, has predicted several times that the brain-chip would secure FDA approval since he announced in 2019 that Neuralink had successfully implanted its chip into a monkey.
However the federal agency rejected the company’s application for approval in early 2022 over safety concerns.
By the end of the year, he told an audience during a question-and-answer session at a Neuralink event that he would implant the chip into one of his own children’s brains if the need arose.
“If you ask a question like, in my opinion, would I be comfortable implanting this in one of my kids or something like that at this point, if they’re in a serious … like let’s say if they broke their neck, would I be comfortable doing it? I would,” Musk said during the December event.
“We’re at the point where, at least in my opinion, it would not be dangerous,” Musk added.