Elon Musk’s Neuralink is looking for candidates for the first tests on humans. He wants to test his brain chips on people with cervical spinal cord injuries, or ALS.
Neuralink, Elon Musk’s neural interface technology company, is recruiting candidates for its first human clinical trials. In Tuesday’s announcement, the company said the study will evaluate the safety of its implants and surgical robots.
According to the initial announcement, the goal of the trial “is to give people the ability to control their computer cursor or keyboard with just their thoughts.”
The company added that the study is aimed at people with quadriplegia due to a cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is a neuromuscular disease that gradually destroys the nervous system and makes muscle control difficult.
First tests on humans
Musk founded Neuralink in 2016 with a team of scientists and engineers. Musk has high hopes for the company’s work — in 2019, he said he hoped it would help humanity achieve “symbiosis with artificial intelligence.”
In May, Neuralink received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to begin human trials. So far, Neuralink has only conducted tests on animals such as pigs and monkeys.
In December 2022, Reuters reported that Neuralink was under federal investigation for animal welfare abuses. Since testing began in 2018, approximately 1,500 animals – including sheep, pigs and monkeys – have been killed, according to Reuters.
“At Neuralink, we are completely committed to working with animals in the most humane and ethical way possible,” the company said in a blog post published in February 2022.