Headline RoundupSeptember 21st, 2023

Musk’s Neuralink Brain-Chip Receives Approval For Human Trials

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Elon Musk’s brain-chip startup, Neuralink, received FDA approval to conduct human trials.

Key Quote: “The first human patient will soon receive a Neuralink device,” Musk stated in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, “This ultimately has the potential to restore full body movement. In the long term, Neuralink hopes to play a role in AI risk civilizational risk reduction by improving human to AI (and human to human) bandwidth by several orders of magnitude. Imagine if Stephen Hawking had had this.”

Details: The brain-chip implant pairs with a Neuralink app, which “decodes movement intention from brain signals recorded by the N1 Implant, allowing you to control a computer with your thoughts.” The company is seeking test subjects who have “quadriplegia (limited function in all 4 limbs) due to spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and are at least 1-year post-injury (without improvement),” are 22 years old or older, and have a “consistent and reliable caregiver.” The study is estimated to take roughly six years. The FDA previously denied Neuralink's bid to conduct human trials in 2022, citing safety concerns. 

How the Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum reported on Neuralink’s human trial approval and subsequent call for trial volunteers. In tandem with reporting on the trial announcement, some left-rated outlets resurfaced reports that monkeys involved in previous Neuralink trials were euthanized after suffering complications from the brain-chip. Musk denied these reports, stating the company intentionally chose “terminal [monkeys] (close to death already).”

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