Elon Musk founded Neuralink in 2016.
Elon Musk suggests Neuralink could produce Star Wars-style robotic hands – and help save the world from AI.The company has started recruiting for its first human trials after receiving FDA approval.Neuralink is facing claims that monkeys implanted with its chips suffered painful deaths.
Elon Musk said Neuralink could help make Luke Skywalker’s robotic hand a reality, amid claims that monkeys implanted with the company’s brain chip suffered gruesome and painful deaths.
In a post on X after Neuralink announced recruitment for its first human clinical trials, Musk suggested that Neuralink’s brain-interface implant could be combined with technology from Tesla’s Optimus robot to produce Star Wars-style robotic limbs.
“In the long term, Neuralink hopes to play a role in AI risk civilizational risk reduction by improving human to AI (and human-to-human) bandwidth by several orders of magnitude,” Musk wrote.
“When a Neuralink is combined with Optimus robot limbs, the Luke Skywalker solution can become real.”
The neural networking company, which Musk founded in 2016, aims to use its implants to help people with paralysis and quadriplegia regain full-body movement.
When a Neuralink is combined with Optimus robot limbs, the Luke Skywalker solution can become real.https://t.co/Tr5Pa4Xfte
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 20, 2023
Tesla’s Optimus robot, meanwhile, was unveiled in a demonstration at its AI day last year.
Musk’s comments came as Neuralink faced fresh controversy over the deaths of macaque monkeys implanted with the company’s brain chip.
In a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said Musk had misled investors by saying no monkeys died as a direct result of the implant, and that Neuralink only used terminally-ill animals in its trials.
The letter, first reported by Wired, cited veterinary records that showed monkeys implanted with the chip experienced extreme pain and symptoms including bloody diarrhea, paralysis, and brain swelling.
The medical non-profit said at least 12 “previously healthy” monkeys were euthanized as a result of problems with the implant. It also said these deaths “relate directly to the safety and marketability of the brain-computer interface Neuralink is developing.”
The Physicians Committee called on the SEC to investigate the matter and “penalize Neuralink and Musk appropriately.”
Neuralink received approval to begin human trials from the FDA in May.
Neuralink did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, made outside normal working hours.