Musk says that Neuralink implants are close to ready for human testing

Image of a hand holding a small metal disk.

Enlarge / Elon Musk shows
the latest version of his company’s implants. (credit: Neuralink)

On Friday, Elon Musk gave an update on what’s probably his
third-most prominent company: Neuralink. Neuralink had been pretty
low profile (especially in comparison to Tesla and SpaceX) prior to
this time last year, which is when Musk
first went into detail
about the company’s goals and progress.
And the goals were striking: a mass-market brain implant that could
be installed by a robot via same-day surgery.

With this year’s update, little has changed about the overall
plan, but plenty of little details have been tweaked in the
intervening 12 months. And progress has been made, in that Musk
introduced his audience to a group of pigs who were already
carrying what he suggested was version 0.9 of his implants, with
human testing set to follow shortly.

Designs on the brain

One of the big differences between this year and last is the
overall design of the implant and its supporting hardware. The
original goal had been to keep the surgery simple in part by
minimizing the size of the hole that needed to be made in the
skull. This meant a small-diameter implant that wouldn’t
necessarily be placed near the neurons it interacted with and would
require a connection to separate hardware placed behind the ear.
All of this added to the level of complication and would
necessarily require running some wires across the surface of the
brain.

Read 16
remaining paragraphs

Source: FS – All – Science – News
Musk says that Neuralink implants are close to ready for
human testing