Is Neuralink’s brain implant test on humans the key to unlocking limitless potential, or an unthinkable nightmare waiting to be unleashed?

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Elon Musk’s start-up Neuralink has received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct its first in-human clinical study for brain implants. The aim of the implants is to allow human brains to directly interface with computers. The prototypes, which have been implanted in monkeys and tested on pigs, are the size of a coin, and are inserted into the brain via a surgical robot. The ultimate goal of Neuralink’s technology is to protect humans from becoming intellectually overwhelmed by artificial intelligence. Other companies working on similar systems include Synchron, which implanted the first human brain-machine interface in the United States in July. Musk has predicted that synching minds with machines is vital if humans are to avoid being “outpaced by AI,” a view that experts and academics remain cautious about.

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