Watch CBS News

Elon Musk says Neuralink is first to implant computer chip in human brain

Neuralink has embedded the first computer chip in a human brain, founder Elon Musk announced on social media Monday, marking a major milestone in neuroscience and a giant step forward in the company's push to promote brain-machine interface implants. 

In a post on X, Musk said a human volunteer underwent surgery last Sunday to receive the chip, which Neuralink designed. He added that the patient is recovering well. 

"Initial results show promising neuron spike detection," Musk said in the post. 

Artificial intelligence, Elon Musk and the biggest tech stories of 2023 04:26

Neurons are cells that make up the brain and nervous system. Spikes occur when neurons communicate to one another through electrical and chemical signals, enabling us to move, think, form memories and more, according to the Queensland Brain Institute.

The results of the implant bring Neuralink closer to launching its first product, called Telepathy, Musk said Tuesday in another post. The offering would enable users to have "control of [their] phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking," the billionaire added.  

Neuralink did not immediately respond to CBS MoneyWatch's request for comment.

The first-of-its-kind surgery comes just months after the company revealed it had clinched regulatory approval to test out its brain chips in humans. Neuralink has received significant criticism in recent years for conducting medical research involving trials of its chip on live monkeys, which led to the deaths of roughly 1,500 of the animals between 2018 and 2022, Reuters reported

The controversial testing brought the firm under federal investigation, in addition to earning it criticism from its own employees, the publication wrote at the time.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.