After years of delays, Neuralink Corp. has been given clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin human trials for its brain-computer interface (BCI). Quietly co-founded by Elon Musk and a small group of scientists in 2016, Neuralink aims to revolutionize humanity by merging humans with machines to, at first glance, treat a growing list of medical conditions, including paralysis, depression, and blindness.

During the approximately thirty-minute Neuralink insertion surgery—which requires no anesthesia—a sewing machine-like robot removes a small chunk of the skull and surgically implants a microchip inside the brain. After connecting the thread-like electrodes to target areas of the brain, it stitches up the hole to leave only a scar. The microchip, called the “Link,” interprets brain signals and relays information to computers via Bluetooth. The video below explains how the technology works.

Musk, who claimed last year he would get the device implanted in his own brain at some point in the future, explained that the easy procedure would allow patients to be discharged the same day. Still, Neuralink implantation has never been performed on humans; thus, the trials will be revealing. Speaking of Neuralink’s repeated attempts at FDA approval for human trials, Musk said in December:

“We want to be extremely careful and certain that it will work well before putting a device into a human, but we’ve submitted, I think, most of our paperwork to the FDA, and we think probably in about six months we should be able to have our first Neuralink in a human.

It’s like replacing a piece of your skull with a smartwatch, for lack of a better analogy.

You could have a Neuralink device implanted right now, and you wouldn’t even know. Even if someone has never had a vision, ever, like they were born blind, we believe we can still restore vision.”

Neuralink is not the only company working in BCI technology. For decades, research teams worldwide have been researching using implants and devices to treat conditions like paralysis and depression. Already, thousands use neuroprosthetics like cochlear implants for hearing. In 2022, Synchon announced that the medical journal JAMA Neurology had published its peer-reviewed, long-term safety results on its neuroprosthesis device Stentrode. Currently in clinical trials in the United States and Australia, the Stentrode With Thought-Controlled Digital Switch (SWITCH) study—a first-in-human study—hopes to help the nearly 5.4 million individuals in the U.S. alone who, because of paralysis, have limited ability to control a computer or a smartphone.

As the lines between robots and BCI become more blurred, Neuralink’s goal of helping disabled people see or communicate with technology more efficiently appears noble enough on the surface. But the merging of humans and artificial intelligence—called transhumanism—is the goal of totalitarian regimes like the World Economic Forum, which seeks to reduce and control society.

With that in mind, remember that in addition to Neuralink, Musk is also working on a general-purpose worker droid robot called Optimus, developed by Tesla. Just yesterday, the rapid development progress of Optimus made spectacular headlines, with Fox News declaring, “Tesla’s Optimus robot fuses self-driving tech with mind-blowing humanlike capabilities.”

According to Musk, who spoke to Axel Springer’s CEO Mathias Döpfner at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, CA, in March 2022, for a robot to “fit in and do things that humans can do,” the bipedal humanoid Optimus, with two arms, two legs, and ten fingers, must be approximately the same size, shape, and capability as humans. With the declining global birth rate, Musk shared with Döpfner that the potential of Optimus—including filling the void created by fewer people—is more extensive than Tesla’s. Musk explained:

Optimus will be helpful with respect to dropping growth rates. But if these things continue, then what happens? Humanity dies out. Is that what we want?

Following Musk’s comment on humanity’s potential demise—heightened by technology experts fearful of AI’s ability to destroy humanity—Döpfner, who has warned that AI could replace journalists, remarked that as birth rates drop, human beings might be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI). Döpfner proclaimed, “human beings powered by Neuralink.” While possible “one day,” Musk replied that in the short term, Neuralink is “just about solving brain injuries, spinal injuries, and that kind of thing.”

Yet, according to Musk, someday in the not-too-distant future, it will be possible for humans to download their brain capacity into an Optimus humanoid, presumably with the help of Neuralink. Specifically, Musk explained that Neuralink could one day allow people to “store your memories as a backup and restore the memories.” Indeed, downloading individual human personalities into a bot (that is also controlled by AI) is certainly a scary way of imagining eternal life that sounds exceptionally inadequate. Yet, according to Musk, the idea is not so far-fetched. In a comment that should make all humans pause and think, he stated:

“Yes, we could download the things that we believe make ourselves so unique. Now, of course, if you’re not in that body anymore, that is definitely going to be a difference, but as far as preserving our memories, our personality, I think we could do that.”

Tellingly, at Tesla’s 2023 shareholder’s meeting, Musk commented that “very few people, even in the AI community, appreciate just how much capability Tesla has in AI. It’s by far the most advanced real-world AI. There’s no one even close. Reality has the most degrees of freedom.” Undoubtedly, there is a dire need for better regulation and discussion surrounding all aspects of AI.


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Tracy Beanz & Michelle Edwards

Tracy Beanz is an investigative journalist with a focus on corruption. She is known for her unbiased, in-depth coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. She hosts the Dark to Light podcast, found on all major video and podcasting platforms. She is a bi-weekly guest on the Joe Pags Radio Show, has been on Steve Bannon’s WarRoom and is a frequent guest on Emerald Robinson’s show. Tracy is Editor-in-chief at