Neuralink, one of the companies managed by Elon Musk, has talked several times about its brain implant or brain-computer interface (BCI) and tested it on animals, but it has not yet been tested on humans. But now, a new report says that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected Neuralink’s request to test it on humans due to concerns about the chip’s safety.
According to a Reuters report citing current and former employees of Neuralink, the US Food and Drug Administration is concerned about the safety of the company’s brain chip:
“FDA’s concern is more related to the lithium battery of this chip. The organization is also concerned about the possibility of the implant’s tiny wires moving to other parts of the brain. “The FDA also has questions about the possibility of removing this chip and doing so without damaging the brain.”
The FDA is concerned about the battery and charging system and the possibility of removing the Neuralink brain chip
The FDA’s concern about the battery system and its new charging capability is related to the possibility of device failure. According to Reuters, the US Food and Drug Administration wants to make sure that the chance of battery failure is very low; Because if this happens, the discharge of electric current or the heat it produces can burn the brain tissue around it.
The FDA is also concerned about how the Neuralink brain implant is removed from users’ brains. This can be done to completely remove, replace or upgrade this chip. The reason for this concern is the small size of this electrical device, which extends into the gray matter of the brain. The small size of this chip makes it difficult to remove and even damage the brain. In addition, parts of it may go to other parts of the brain and become troublesome for the user.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Neuralink, announced at Neuralink’s Show and Tell event a few months ago that he would likely start human trials in 6 months. Musk even said that he is willing to put the neural link chip into the brain of one of his children. However, Musk does not seem to be able to fulfill his 6-month promise, and we are probably still a long way from the start of human trials.
A Neuralink employee told Reuters that Elon Musk could not understand that he was not dealing with a machine and that he was dealing with a brain, not a toy.
In any case, until today, Elon Musk has made many promises about the projects of his various companies that have not been fulfilled, and now we have to wait to see the human trials of Neuralink begin soon before we face another empty promise of Musk.