Controlling your PC by simply thinking of the commands you want it to do is something Elon Musk wants to push into fruition very soon. In fact, the billionaire tech mogul wants it to happen by next year with the Neuralink human trials.
Musk's brain interface technology company Neuralink seeks to begin implanting a microchip into human brains in 2022. This device would allow people with physical disabilities to control a PC with just their thoughts, The Sun revealed.
Apart from this, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO also targets restoring full-body functionality to quadriplegic patients using the technology.
Elon Musk 'Cautiously Optimistic' About Neuralink Chip Progress
Musk said in a speech at the livestreamed Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Conference that he is "cautiously optimistic." He stressed that Neuralink's standards for implanting the chip into people's brains are higher than what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets.
Musk said that with the device, full-body functionality for spinal cord injury sufferers could be restored.
The South African businessman emphasized that it was a "chance" for one who could not walk or use their arms "to be able to walk again naturally."
While he said he would not want to "raise hopes unreasonably," Musk said he is "increasingly convinced" that this is very possible.
Neuralink was co-founded by Musk in 2016 and is currently developing a microchip that will be implanted in people's brains to record and stimulate brain activity, and control movement at the same time. Its purpose is for medical applications, which include serious spinal cord injuries and neurological illnesses.
Musk said Neuralink has succeeded in clinical trials with monkeys, confirming that the technology is "safe and reliable" and that the "device can be removed safely," a Business Insider report said.
The monkey, named Pager, had those brain-machine interface (BMI) implanted on each side of its brain. Neuralink had likewise placed the chip into the brains of rats and pigs.
Earlier this year, Musk demonstrated the technology in an adult macaque that was able to control paddles in a game of Pong using merely brain signals.
Neuralink Human Trials 2022 Set for Tetraplegics, Quadriplegics Next Year
Musk added that they are targeting to implant the device for the first time in humans next year, particularly those with severe spinal cord injuries, such as tetraplegics and quadriplegics, pending FDA approval.
In a tweet, Musk further underscored Neuralink's timeline for 2022, saying that the progress of the technology will speed up once they have actually implanted the device into humans next year." He offered earlier timelines for the implants, saying that he had targeted Neuralink to implant the device into humans by the end of 2021. In 2019, he aimed to have the chips placed in human brains by the end of 2020.
Beyond providing new life for the disabled, Neuralink would eventually seek to provide implants for people to enhance their intelligence. It seeks to have a full brain interface in 25 years.
This aims to prevent humans from being outperformed by artificial intelligence, which could turn against humans in the future, Musk previously claimed.