Neuralink is looking to hire a Clinical Trial Director and Co-ordinator, an indication that it’s heading towards human trials If you’re wondering, “whatever happened to that Elon Musk Neuralink thing?” We have an update for you. After successfully showcasing a demo on a monkey and a pig, we might soon see a human donning the […]
Neuralink is looking to hire a Clinical Trial Director and Co-ordinator, an indication that it’s heading towards human trials
If you’re wondering, “whatever happened to that Elon Musk Neuralink thing?” We have an update for you. After successfully showcasing a demo on a monkey and a pig, we might soon see a human donning the brain-machine interface (BMI) device. The company recently posted a job listing for a Clinical Trial Director and Co-ordinator, implying that it’s headed for human trials.
Since its showcase back in 2017, the Neuralink device has seen a change in design. Instead of a needle-like structure that looked like it was straight out of a Matrix movie, it is now a coin-shaped machine that’s developed to nestle around the skull. According to Musk, “It’s like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires.”
Right. So why are we voluntarily taking the blue pill and giving control to the machines? As per Musk, the device could help in monitoring and solving several neurological problems, like memory loss, strokes and addiction. It is also expected to warn the user if they’re having a stroke.
The technology isn’t really new. BMIs have been around since 2006. What Neuralink is trying to do here is trying to improve on the technology and make it more accessible. But before it could get the FDA’s approval for general medical use, it needs to perform a series of human trials.
Of course, the intention of Neuralink isn’t just to solve neurological issues. The long-term goal here has always been “human enhancement,” according to the billionaire. He hopes to create a “’symbiosis with artificial intelligence to stop any potential of AI becoming a threat to human society.”
If this sounds like sci-fi-ish, it’s because it is. The idea was primarily inspired by science fiction, specifically from The Culture novels by Iain M. Banks. Ever since its announcement, the company has been able to secure $200 million in funding, half of which comes from Musk itself.
However, the project has hit many potholes in the way. Around five of the eight scientists who started with the project left by 2020, with co-founder and president Max Hodak leaving in 2021. Yet, the company is confident about its plans to have the device implanted in the first human subjects in 2022.
We’ll just wait for it to happen then.