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Elon Musk’s Neuralink nears human testing for smartphone brain chip | Science | News

Neuralink, the US neurotechnology firm co-founded by the billionaire entrepreneur, has begun recruiting key employees to run clinical trials for the brain chip to wire human brains to computers. These include clinical trial director and clinical trial coordinator, with job ads that mention the company’s “first clinical trial participants.”

Mr Musk and his Neuralink partners founded the company in 2016 to develop brain chips that connect humans with computers.

He has claimed that the implants will enable paralyzed people to control such devices as smartphones with their brains.

His company aims to provide solutions for many physical disabilities by bridging signals between neurons, once human testing begins.

The company publicly demonstrated the power of its technology last April, when it posted footage that claimed to show a monkey playing a video game with its mind.

The chips have been tested in the brains of a macaque monkey and a pig.

Speaking at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council summit last month, Mr Musk said the first human test subjects will be people with severe spinal injuries such as quadriplegics.

He said: “We have a chance with Neuralink to restore full-body functionality to someone who has a spinal cord injury.”

The newly posted adverts for his company state that new employees will “work closely with some of the most innovative doctors and top engineers, as well as working with Neuralink’s first clinical trial participants.”

The director, states the ad, will build the clinical research team and will develop “regulatory interactions that come with a fast-paced and ever-evolving environment.”

Mr Musk is ranked as the world’s richest person, with a fortune estimated at $256 billion.

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The tweet, which was posted on the company’s CEO’s Twitter account but claimed to be from Mr O’Keefe, read: “No need for keystrokes or voices.

“I created this tweet just by thinking it.”

The implant, “designed to enable patients to wirelessly control digital devices through thought,” was inserted via the jugular vein to avoid drilling into the skull.

Synchron reported that Mr O’Keefe said – or thought: “Now, I just think about where on the computer I want to click, and I can email, bank, shop, and now message the world via Twitter,”

He added that the “astonishing” system takes practice, just like learning to ride a bike, “but once you’re rolling, it becomes natural.”


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