Neuralink product Telepathy will enable computer control by thinking

MONEY & BUSINESS: Neuralink product Telepathy will enable computer control by thinking

Elon Musk’s brain chip startup Neuralink already has its “first product” — dubbed Telepathy — after the company successfully inserted an implant into its first human test subject.

The program “enables control of your phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking,” Musk said Monday night.

“Initial users will be those who have lost the use of their limbs,” Musk wrote on X. “Imagine if Stephen hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal.”

Musk revealed that Neuralink’s first human subject had received their brain chip implant Sunday and was “recovering well.”

No details were available about the patient, but Musk said “initial results show promising neuron spike detection.”

Musk also teased another possible feature of the brain chip called Blindsight, which could help with vision restoration, in response to a video posted by another user on X.

The US Food and Drug Administration cleared Neuralink to conduct its first-ever clinical trial last May.

At the time, Musk’s startup described the agency’s decision as “an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people.”

Musk has long touted the potential benefits of the experimental brain chip — ranging from improved cognitive function to assisting people with disabilities, such as individuals with vision loss or who have become paralyzed.

Neuralink — which was valued at a whopping $5 billion last June — teased the “telepathic” potential of its brain chips in 2021 when it released a video of a monkey test subject playing the video game “Pong” with its mind.

Neuralink has implanted a chip into a human subject. REUTERS
Musk said Neuralink will help boost cognitive function in humans. Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson

The company has faced scrutiny from animal rights activists over its allegedly inhumane treatment of monkeys and pigs as test subjects — with one group alleging that the monkeys had gone through “extreme suffering.”

Musk and Neuralink have denied wrongdoing.

Separately, a group of Democratic US lawmakers asked the SEC last fall to investigate whether Musk had made misleading statements over the device’s safety.

Despite the criticism, the outspoken executive has long insisted that the brain chips are safe.

The first Neuralink product is called “Telepathy.”

In December 2022, Musk said he would be “comfortable” implanting one of the chips into his own children’s brains.

He also has signaled that he will receive his own brain chip at some point in the future.

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