Elon Musk’s latest startup is taking steps to eventually insert a computer connection into human brains. In clinical trials that could begin as early as next year, Neuralink wants to drill four 8mm holes into paralyzed patients’ skulls and insert implants that will give them the ability to control computers and smartphones using their thoughts. The company just needs approval from the Food and Drug Administration before it can begin those trials. Company President Max Hodak said it aims to help humans with an array of ailments, like helping amputees regain mobility or helping people hear, speak and see—but without leaving any long-term risks. Bloomberg News reports the company showed that it can record a rat’s brain activity through thousands of tiny electrodes surgically implanted alongside the animal’s neurons and synapses. Neuralink executives have admitted they have a “long way to go” before they could begin to offer a commercial service, but the startup has raised $150 million from investors—$100 million of that from Musk himself.
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