Elon Musk said his company Neuralink will begin human trials on its computer brain implant in the next six months.
At a Neuralink show-and-tell event Wednesday, Mr. Musk explained that while developments have been slow, he and others will experience the revolutionary technology in 2023. He had originally planned to start human trials in 2020 and again in 2022.
The device, once implanted, would let people control a computer with their brain. The company has tested prototypes of the device on monkeys and pigs, shown in video demonstrations in 2020 and 2021.
The monkeys made a return this year, using the devices to type out certain words on the screen.
The presentation showed off how the system was built as well as the difficulties with the implementation.
“Imagine taking a hair from your head and sticking it into Jell-O covered by saran wrap, doing that to a precise depth and precision, and doing that 64 times in a reasonable amount of time,” Christine Odabashian, leader of the Neuralink hardware insertion team, said of implementing the system.
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Wednesday’s event at company headquarters in Fremont, California, touched on treatments such as helping people restore movement or vision.
“Even if someone has never had vision, ever, like they were born blind, we believe we can still restore vision,” Mr. Musk said.
Mr. Musk pointed out that the company submitted almost all the paperwork to the Food and Drug Administration needed to start human trials.
According to current and former employees of Neuralink, the company has repeatedly missed internal deadlines regarding human trials.
Mr. Musk has expressed frustration with the company for its speed and even approached rival company Synchron in August about a possible investment. Synchron has already tested its device on human subjects in Australia.