In Aug., Elon Musk updated the world on the progress of Neuralink, the neurotechnology company he founded back in 2016, via a live webcast.
Trendsetting technologist Musk, who is also chief executive of Tesla, a Palo Alto, California based electric vehicle and clean energy company, and Aerospace company SpaceX, gave a quick rundown on a bold vision for the future of humanity.
His vision of tomorrow encompasses a world in which cybernetically augmented super-humans aren’t just able to prevail over the menace of disease and disability, but completely outstrip their physical form with the help of direct integration with technology and machines.
In Musk’s own words, Neuralink’s implantable device is “like a Fitbit in your skull.” Integrated with super-thin threads that carry electrodes, the technology is crafted to enable high throughput communication to external computers, and potentially, secondary “links” placed elsewhere in the body.
Neuralink isn’t just an eye-catching novelty as the company employs more than a hundred people and is focused on rapidly expanding its workforce. Moreover, Musk has invested $100 million of his own capital into the venture.
He also revealed that Neuralink received Breakthrough Device designation from the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) this past July. This achievement can help to expedite the regulatory process.
Musk has grabbed the attention of differently-abled people by reiterating that, in the first instance, Neuralink would attempt to “solve important brain and spine problems.” During the presentation, multiple chronic and life-limiting conditions were cited as being potentially treatable by Neuralink – ranging from brain damage, memory loss, spinal cord injuries, blindness, and even depression.
Neuralink’s first round of clinical trials will revolve around patients with spinal cord injuries. For differently-abled people watching on, this may seem like a convincing representation or something innovative and fresh as compared to the dry medical jargon that ends up just filling the professional journals.