Elon Musk’s Neuralink has started recruiting for a clinical trial director, making it one step closer to technology development that could connect the human mind to devices.
The objective of Neuralink is to produce something called a “brain-computer interface,” which would allow people to receive and transmit information between their brain and a computer wirelessly.
A paralyzed person with a Nueralink chip implanted in his brain could regulate the keyboard and mouse without any movement. Information could also be communicated through other means and allow the person’s brain to stimulate the touch sense.
How is this achieved?
Neurons produce electric signals, and electrodes placed near neurons can seize and record those signals. In a simple sense, replaying these signals can replicate the emotions of different experiences, like kissing a person, hugging someone, or holding an orange.
Neuralink will become one step closer to its ultimate aim with this recruitment. The recruitment description says: “As the Clinical Trial Director, you’ll work closely with some of the most innovative doctors and top engineers, as well as working with Neuralink’s first Clinical Trial participants!”
While the company aims to help mankind, others have expressed concerns regarding the cons of technology.
The news has drawn comparisons with an episode of Black Mirror (The Entire History of You) that lets the characters replay memories. With chips in their brains, which eventually becomes hazardous for their mental health. Another episode, called “Black Museum,” shows a cruel opportunist who misuses the device to conduct questionable experiments on doctors and patients, disguising himself as medical research.
However, the future with Neuralink is still far.
Elon Musk had announced in 2019 that the neurotechnology startup was poised to start human clinical trials on brain implants. As of April 2021, Neuralink has released a video of a monkey with a Neuralink device playing pong.
What the job posting of clinical trial director means for the progress of Neuralink is still up in the air. Still, it could also mean that human trials are likely to begin very soon.