Elon Musk performs on stage at the E3 conference in Los Angeles on June 13, 2019.
Charley Gallay | Getty Images
Elon Musk's ambitious brain-computer startup Neuralink plans to launch experiments with humans next year. Musk talked about the project at an event in San Francisco, which was broadcast live late Tuesday – with the goal of recruiting more talent.
Neuralink fits in with a broader trend of technology minds who want to blend their approaches with the world of in healthcare. Facebook has previously provided resources for researching computer systems that people can use to communicate with ease.
The start-up plans to use a custom machine to drill holes in the brain to embed thin threads that can be connected to a tiny processor, which can then be connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth. Over time, it wants to make the installation process as easy as an eye laser operation.
The company is seeking approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to begin clinical trials next year, Bloomberg said, and Musk said it wants to equip its first human patient with the technology before the end of 2020.
"It will take a long time and you will see it coming," Musk said at the event on Tuesday. He said that in the future there could be an "App Store" for various programs that could use the technology.
Since Musk, Tesla's CEO and co-founder of PayPal, Neuralink has been working on relatively secret ideas for the start-up in a long article in Tim Urban's blog "Wait But Why" in 201
"We want roughly to market something that helps with certain serious brain injuries (stroke, cancer, innate), "Musk told Urban.
Musk believes that, according to The New York Times, the technology could eventually support cognitive abilities such as language and eyesight. Applications include helping people control computers with their brain activity or restore their ability to talk, said Philip Sabes, senior scientist at Neuralink, at the event on Tuesday.
Musk, however, has a greater ambition. He said Tuesday that he hoped "to secure the future of humanity as a civilization compared to AI" or artificial intelligence.
Last year, a media company reported that Neuralink had tried to run tests on animals. The New York Times reported that there was a demonstration of a computer that received information from a rat in a corporate lab. And a new work attributed to Neuralink and Musk describes some of the rat researches.
"All animal testing has been carried out in accordance with the National Research Council's Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and approved by the Neuralink Committee on Institutional Animal Care and Use," the paper said. At the event on Tuesday Musk also talked about working with monkeys.
"A monkey could control the computer with his brain," he said.
Last year he approached the project during a performance on the podcast Joe Rogan Experience. "I think we'll announce something interesting in a few months … that's better than anyone thinks possible," he said.
Musk, co-founder of Neuralink, has invested $ 100 million in the company. said the New York Times.
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