The patient received the implant on Sunday (January 28th) and “is recovering well,” Musk said in a social media post on Monday night. “Initial results show promising neuron spike detection, Musk added, referencing the cells that use electrical and chemical signals to send information around the brain and to the body.
Neuralink was founded in 2016 with the goal of helping people recover from traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, curing depression and other mental health disorders, and connecting humans to the internet for everything from music streaming to near-telepathic communication.
In his post on Monday, Musk said the first Neuralink device is called Telepathy. Explaining the device’s utility, he wrote, “[It] enables control of your phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking.
“Initial users will be those who have lost the use of their limbs,” Musk added. “Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal.”
Before it was cleared to begin human trials in May 2023, Neuralink had been testing its brain chips on monkeys. The company previously showed its test subjects “playing” video games and moving computer cursors via their implants, but the trials have not been without consequences. A report in 2022 found that at least 15 out of 23 monkeys tested with the technology between 2017 and 2020 died. The US Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General also opened an investigation to see if the company violated animal welfare regulations.