ELON Musk has claimed that he will cure a common and debilitating disease using computer chips hooked to people’s BRAINS.
In a recent tweet, the billionaire said that his company Neuralink will fix tinnitus – a condition that causes ringing in the ears – by 2027.
Musk set up Neuralink in 2016 with the goal of creating “brain-machine interfaces” that connect humans and computers.
Early trials have implanted coin-sized devices into the heads of monkeys, allowing them to play video games using only their minds.
The company says the technology will one day help people with paralysis and other neurological conditions.
On April 24, Musk tweeted that Nueralink will “definitely” cure tinnitus, which affects 50million people in the U.S.
It’s estimated that one in three people worldwide will experience tinnitus at some point in their lifetimes.
A cure “might be less than five years away”, Musk said, due to the rapidly growing complexity of Neuralink’s chips.
The Tesla chief has previously claimed that brain implants could one day cure diseases ranging from obesity to insomnia.
And while it may sound farfetched, the underlying science is credible.
Neurological conditions are frequently the result of damage or other deficiencies in the brain that stop neurons from working properly.
Neuralink promises to cure a number of them by using its chips to bypass the damaged parts.
A precision surgical robot hooks a thousand miniature threads from a device implanted into the skull to neurons in the brain.
That device is then connected to a computer by Bluetooth for continuous communication back and forth.
In cases of tinnitus, a nerve that connects the inner ear with the brain is damaged due to injury or prolonged loud noise.
Neuralink promises to remedy that by providing the ability to process sensory input in place of the damaged neurons.
Neural implants have been around since the 1960s when the first cochlear implant was used to treat someone with impaired hearing.
Experts have lauded the technology as a real gamechanger.
Paul Nuyujukian, director of the Brain Interfacing Laboratory at Stanford University, told Wired earlier this year: “We are on the cusp of a complete paradigm shift.
“This type of technology has the potential to transform our treatments.
“Not just for stroke, paralysis, and motor degenerative disease, but also for pretty much every other type of brain disease.”
Eventually, Neuralink wants to provide its implants to people to boost their intelligence.
The aim is to create a full brain interface within 25 years.
The company has faced claims that it has violated animal welfare laws while testing on monkeys.
This year, it plans to test human subjects for the first time.
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