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posted by hubie on Tuesday May 14, @06:24PM   Printer-friendly

Neuralink's brain-chip implant malfunctioned, and the company reportedly considered removing it from its human patient:

Neuralink's brain-chip implant is working — except that some of the device's threads pulled away from the first human patient's brain.

Elon Musk's company shared a progress update in a blog post on Wednesday and said a number of threads "retracted" from the patient's brain a few weeks after his surgery. That rendered the implant less effective.

The "Link" device lets the patient move a computer cursor using his thoughts. An earlier blog post said the process involved more than 1,000 electrodes in the device and at least 64 threads, each thinner than a strand of human hair.

Neuralink measures the speed and accuracy of the Link's cursor control using a metric called bits per second. The Wednesday blog post said a higher BPS score meant it had stronger cursor control.

The retraction of some of the threads caused the electrodes in the device to be less effective, Neuralink said. It said it had since made tweaks which in turn "produced a rapid and sustained improvement in BPS, that has now superseded Noland's initial performance."

[...] The Wall Street Journal reported that Neuralink considered removing the implant from the patient altogether, citing unnamed sources.

In February, Musk said on an X Spaces session that "progress is good" and that "the patient seems to have made a full recovery."

[...] The Journal reported that Neuralink planned to implant 10 devices in other human patients by the end of this year.


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  • (Score: 3, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 14, @07:06PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 14, @07:06PM (#1356949)

    the patient seems to have made a full recovery

    I guess this statement means: the patient is no worse off than when we started digging around inside his skull... which is a notoriously difficult thing to evaluate.

    --
    🌻🌻 [google.com]
  • (Score: 2, Troll) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Tuesday May 14, @07:20PM (5 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Tuesday May 14, @07:20PM (#1356950)

    What a not-so-cute way to say "guinea pig".

    I'm sure "it" is really pleased to be treated like a company asset.

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by DadaDoofy on Tuesday May 14, @09:29PM (2 children)

      by DadaDoofy (23827) on Tuesday May 14, @09:29PM (#1356963)

      Company asset? At least the experimental procedure undergone was a choice, made by someone of their own free will. I bet the hundreds of millions of Guinea pigs forcefully injected with drug companies' experimental spike proteins, under the threat of unemployment, certainly wish they'd had a choice.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14, @10:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14, @10:03PM (#1356966)

        under the threat of unemployment

        Wait ... You think the Guinea pigs get paid or had better things to do? That they dropped out of the PhD program at Rodent State U?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 15, @05:16AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 15, @05:16AM (#1357004)

        I have been forced to live one side of this narrative.

        Here is the other side .

        https://vaccines.news [vaccines.news]

        Make of it what you will.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by ikanreed on Wednesday May 15, @12:54AM (1 child)

      by ikanreed (3164) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 15, @12:54AM (#1356976) Journal

      Okay, no love lost with Musk here, but this class of implant have been proposed and delivered to other patients by other similar research before.

      And believe me the people who are eligible for it aren't people who are having happy, painless lives prior to implantation.

      While this particular patient's privacy has (for good reason) been well respected, others who have been approved for experimental brain computer interfaces are usually suffering from(or imminently about to be suffering from) what is called "locked in syndrome". At end stages, they have literally no control over any muscle in their body, even eyes. They can't communicate, they can't navigate, and medical ethics entails keeping them alive. But their brain is fully conscious and aware.

      With that context in mind, risking deadly side effects and failed experimentation doesn't necessarily seem so bad, at least to me.

      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday May 15, @02:38PM

        by Freeman (732) on Wednesday May 15, @02:38PM (#1357043) Journal

        "Locked in syndrome" is definitely one of those "horror scenarios" and I could see undergoing experimental procedures to avoid that. Looking at what "Doctors" have done and do to Epilepsy patients, I'm quite sure this falls in the realm of actually okay. As opposed to some "fixes" for Epilepsy being to wholesale remove entire sections of the brain. Sure, what do they need that quarter of the brain for? Well, we still don't know and now they're a drooling mess. Oops, back to the drawing board . . .

        --
        Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 2) by turgid on Tuesday May 14, @07:50PM

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 14, @07:50PM (#1356952) Journal

    I hope the patient was well remunerated by Neuralink to try out their cutting-edge technology, and by that I mean a lifetime's work sort of remuneration since it is so risky and has the potential to go so wrong, plus enough to cover any sort of on-going personal care that might be required.

  • (Score: 2) by drussell on Tuesday May 14, @09:03PM (1 child)

    by drussell (2678) on Tuesday May 14, @09:03PM (#1356957) Journal

    Just because you can doesn't necessarily mean you should?!!

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 14, @09:24PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 14, @09:24PM (#1356960)

      There are a few blind people who were quite happy to try the early sight restoration implants... it's really cool to be the blind guy who could see, but the maintenance of a percutaneous port for the interface wires is a huge price to pay.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
  • (Score: 3, Touché) by Se5a on Tuesday May 14, @09:06PM (6 children)

    by Se5a (20629) on Tuesday May 14, @09:06PM (#1356958)

    Have you dumb shits actualy watched/listed to the patent himself?

    But no no, you hate musk so much that you don't need to, it must be bad right?

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Se5a on Tuesday May 14, @09:17PM (4 children)

      by Se5a (20629) on Tuesday May 14, @09:17PM (#1356959)

      https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1dRKZEmkonzxB [twitter.com]
      He has an x account, and he talks about his progress here.

      • (Score: 2, Troll) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 14, @09:26PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 14, @09:26PM (#1356962)

        Not to be too much of a cynic, but I smell a ghostwriter as part of the contractual agreement.

        Dude may not much feel like writing his own blog - certainly isn't typing it himself so there's at least a transcriptionist involved, more likely a "help us and we'll help you" agreement to put a happy(ish) spin on it all.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Se5a on Tuesday May 14, @09:52PM (2 children)

          by Se5a (20629) on Tuesday May 14, @09:52PM (#1356965)

          It's a video ffs!

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 14, @10:15PM (1 child)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 14, @10:15PM (#1356967)

            And our fearless President Ronald Reagan was promoted why? Because he could read a script.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Se5a on Tuesday May 14, @11:28PM

              by Se5a (20629) on Tuesday May 14, @11:28PM (#1356973)

              This argument is flat earther level of iq

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by epitaxial on Wednesday May 15, @12:34AM

      by epitaxial (3165) on Wednesday May 15, @12:34AM (#1356974)

      I read the reports of what happened to the previous primates. That was enough. https://www.pcrm.org/ethical-science/animals-in-medical-research/neuralink/animal15 [pcrm.org]

      Like everything else Musk touts, he didn't invent the technology he only hypes it up. It was being done back in 1998 https://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/22/technology/implant-transmits-brain-signals-directly-to-computer.html [nytimes.com]

      Musk did not create Tesla or even Paypal for that matter. He was lucky enough to buy into and cash out at the right time.

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