AI – After being implanted in a human brain, the Neuralink chip encounters “a malfunction”

Towards a world of cyborgs? And for good reason, Elon Musk’s American start-up Neuralink announced on Wednesday May 8 that its implant showed a drop in effectiveness, four months after being introduced into the brain of the first human patient, reported cnews.fr.

As a reminder, the goal of this technology is to allow quadriplegic patients or patients suffering from neurological diseases to develop “their potential” thanks to an advanced technological interface.

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+ Clear reduction in the number of effective electrodes +

Last January, Noland Arbaugh, 29, became the first human patient to have an implant. After a diving accident, the young man became quadriplegic. Eight years later, Neuralink broadcast images where the patient was able to play chess using his thoughts on his computer.

In another press release published in April, the American start-up reassured the public, indicating that “the operation went perfectly”. This Wednesday and after four months of use, the company has just announced a loss of effectiveness of its chip because “a certain number of wires have been removed from the brain, which has led to a clear reduction in the number of effective electrodes “.

In order to remedy this malfunction, Neuralink explained that it had modified its algorithm and improved signal transmission techniques. According to the company, removal of the implant was considered, but ultimately abandoned because Noland Arbaugh’s health would not be in danger.

+ “Augmented humans” +

Neuralink also specifies that its patient uses the chip approximately eight hours a day during the week and up to ten hours during their free time. “This system allowed me to reconnect with the world, my friends and my family,” assured Noland Arbaugh in the press release. “I am now able to do some things on my own like before,” he added.

If Neuralink aims to create “augmented humans” and support patients suffering from autism or schizophrenia, its project raises many ethical questions.

Indeed, Elon Musk wishes to offer his implant to everyone, in order to enable better communication with computers and to contain, according to him, the “risk for our civilization” that artificial intelligence represents. However, voices are being raised about the fear of becoming cyborgs.

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