The FDA has granted approval to Elon Musk’s brain implant company, NeuraLink, to carry out clinical studies on humans.
“This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people,” tweeted the official account of NeuraLink on Thursday afternoon.
We are excited to share that we have received the FDA’s approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study!
This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our…
— Neuralink (@neuralink) May 25, 2023
Musk has long been foretelling that the FDA would someday permit the brain implant company to execute studies involving humans.
However, the FDA rejected the company’s original application in 2022, suggesting safety concerns with the product. The company now evidently has conquered those concerns.
The goal of NeuraLink is to develop brain-computer interfaces with the goal of human enhancement in a wide variety of areas — a goal sometimes described as transhumanism.
In previous interviews, Elon Musk has said he hopes NeuraLink can “address brain injuries or spinal injuries and make up for whatever lost capacity somebody has with a chip.”
In 2021, NeuraLink released video showing monkeys using neural signals to play the video game Pong. This milestone had previously been achieved by scientists in lab settings, but not by a commercial company developing a product aimed at everyday consumers.
Although Elon Musk has been one of the most vocal public figures warning of the potential dangers of AI, he has said he hopes that NeuraLink will in the long term help humans achieve a “symbiosis with artificial intelligence.”
The notion that a blending of human and machine intelligence will allow humans to transcend previously crippling maladies, potentially increasing the human lifespan in the process has long been talked about in Silicon Valley as part of a broader discourse about a potential “technological singularity” in which machine intelligence outstrips human intelligence.