Billionaire Elon Musk has revealed his startup company Neuralink has installed a brain implant in its first human patient.
Writing on X, the social media platform he owns, Mr Musk said: “The first human received an implant from Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well. Initial results show promising neuron spike detection.”
The brain-chip company aims to use microchips to cure blindness, help paralysed people walk and assist disabled people in using computers and mobiles.
The chips, which are lined with electrodes, have been designed to decode signals produced in the brain and transmit information to devices via a Bluetooth network.
On its website Neuralink declares its mission is to “create a generalized brain interface to restore autonomy to those with unmet medical needs today and unlock human potential tomorrow”.
However experts have previously warned it poses a risk to freedom of thought and threatens the “last bastion of privacy”.
The company has also been the subject of several federal investigations into its welfare and ethical practices. Last year, the United State’s Department of Agriculture inspector general began investigating the company over potential breaches of the Animal Welfare Act, at the request of a federal prosecutor.
Last May the company said it had received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its first-in-human clinical trial.
In September the company said it received approval from an independent review board to begin recruitment for the first human trial of its brain implant for paralysis patients.
It said those with paralysis due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may qualify for the study, but did not reveal how many participants would be enrolled in the trial, which will take about six years to complete.