Elon Musk says Neuralink has implanted first human with wireless brain-computer chip

‘Telepathy’ product to allow paralysed patients to regain independence by controlling computers and mobile devices with their brain.

Neurotech company Neuralink has successfully implanted a brain chip in a human patient for the first time, according to its founder, Elon Musk. In a series of posts on X, Musk said that the patient was “recovering well” and that early results showed “promising neuron spike detection.”

Neuralink, which began recruitment for its first human trial in September, is developing wireless brain-computer interface technology to help treat paralysis and a range of degenerative diseases. The company’s chip-based technology aims to help patients to regain independence by controlling computers and mobile devices using their brain.

Musk also revealed that Neuralink’s first product will be called Telepathy, and will initially be for people “who have lost the use of their limbs.”

“Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer,” he wrote. “That is the goal.”

In May last year, the FDA finally permitted Neuralink to use its technology in human trials, having initially rejected the company’s trial application over safety concerns. The company’s “neural lace” technology involves a robot surgically inserting a microchip in the brain, a process that Musk has previously claimed will eventually take less than an hour, with patients going home the same day. The implanted chip then captures and interprets the brain’s electrical signals, and transmits the data via Bluetooth to external devices.

The trial aims to evaluate the safety of both Neuralink’s implant and its surgical robot, as well as to assess the technology’s ability to allow people with paralysis to control external devices with their brain. The company’s initial goal is to enable people to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone.

Photograph: Frederic Legrand – COMEO/Shutterstock