Speaking at an event held by the Neuralink on Wednesday, Musk said he would be comfortable with the procedure if it was needed to help a child with a serious injury, such as a broken neck. “We’re at the point where, at least in my opinion, it would not be dangerous,” he added.
Neuralink’s brain-computer interface is designed to help those with paralysing conditions communicate via their thoughts. The device consists of a tiny gadget, electrode-laced wires, and a robot that removes a portion of a person’s skull and inserts the chip into their brain. Musk said he expects human trials of the chip to begin in the next six months, despite the company failing to meet multiple previous timelines for inserting the chips into humans.
During the event on Wednesday, Musk explained the device’s potential benefits in assisting people who face disabilities, such as a loss of vision or motor function or in individuals who have suffered spinal injuries or become paralysed. “As miraculous as that may sound, we are confident that it is possible to restore full-body functionality to someone who has a severed spinal cord,” he said. “Even if someone has never had vision, ever, like they were born blind, we believe we can still restore vision,” he added.
In addition to its potential medical applications, Musk also discussed the possible future uses of the Neuralink chip, including enhancing human intelligence and allowing people to communicate with each other telepathically. “We could have a full-brain interface,” he said. “You could have a Neuralink device implanted right now and you wouldn’t even know. I mean, hypothetically. In one of these demos, in fact, in one of these demos, I will.”