The Synchron company has started testing on a severely paralyzed patient: the chip will communicate with a machine that will read his thoughts. Elon Musk ‘s Neuralink wants to do the same.
The Synchron company has gone a step further than Neuralink , an initiative of Elon Musk , and has begun tests with a brain chip implanted in a patient in the United States.
According to Bloomberg , the chip was implanted on July 6 in New York and has a specific purpose: to allow a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to communicate using their thoughts.
Synchron ‘s chip is 1.5 inches in size and has been implanted in the brain of a severely paralyzed patient.
The purpose of the device is to allow the patient to communicate, even after they have lost the ability to move, by using their thoughts to send emails and text messages.
However, the media points out that Synchron has already had similar tests in Australia with four patients since 2019 who were able to use the chip to send WhatsApp messages and even buy online.
The support behind it is not minor: it is led by Max Hodak, the co-founder and former president of Neuralink , an Elon Musk company with a similar goal .
Synchron and Neuralink implants have similar immediate applications. Both are designed to translate human thoughts into computer commands and could help patients with neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or ALS.
But Elon Musk himself has pointed out that Neuralink also wants to serve entertainment functions, allowing you to fast-forward or choose music and more chores.
However, Neuralink has been criticized for its cruel mistreatment of test animals , since so far it has not had any human trials. The company has defended itself while still seeking permission to start clinical trials in North America.
“In the long term, a sophisticated Neuralink could put you squarely in virtual reality. I think we are far from entering the metaverse, this seems more like a word that is fashionable, “defended the billionaire.