Elon Musk’s other, other moonshot company is Neuralink. For the uninitiated, that enterprise is looking to develop a brain-computer interface that will eventually be installed in human beings. That moment is coming ever closer, with the tech outfit actively seeking a clinical partner for human trials.
That doesn’t mean that Neuralink is allowed to perform those trials yet. It’s still at the ‘making monkeys telepathic‘ stage of development but, according to six sources “familiar with the matter“, a clinical partner is being sought.
The missing Neuralink
Specifically, the company has been discussing the possibility of teaming up with the Barrow Neurological Institute. That doesn’t mean that Musk’s company will partner with the institute, even though it’s an extremely logical choice. Barrow is the world’s largest neurological disease treatment and research centre. It’s got the expertise to install brain links and has access to just the kind of patients Neuralink is looking to help.
But, according to those same sources, the brain interface company is also in discussion with other possible partners. Reuters spoke to the director of the Barrow Neurological Institute, who didn’t comment on any potential partnerships but did say that the centre is well-placed to conduct that sort of research.
There are still a few obstacles to clear before humans start being fitted with their very own brain-computers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected Neuralink’s application to proceed to human trials once before, in 2022. The company has to address various safety concerns before the FDA will allow it to start mucking with human brains.