Neuralink Achieves a Milestone with First Human Brain Implant

By Kevin Armstrong
Neuralink's first product will be called Telepathy
Neuralink's first product will be called Telepathy

In a groundbreaking development in the field of neurotechnology, Neuralink, a company spearheaded by visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk, has announced the successful implantation of its first brain-computer interface in a human subject. This marks a significant advancement in the company's efforts to merge human cognition with artificial intelligence.

The historic procedure involved installing the Neuralink device, known as the N1 implant, in a patient with severe mobility restrictions. Elon Musk, the founder of Neuralink, shared this news earlier this week, highlighting the successful detection of neuron spikes in the initial stages post-implantation.

The N1 Implant: A New Era in Neurotechnology

The N1 implant, a small, wireless device, is designed to enable individuals with paralysis to control digital interfaces, such as computer cursors or keyboards, through their thoughts. This innovative technology aims to provide a new level of autonomy and communication capability for people with significant physical limitations.

Neuralink's PRIME Study (Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface) represents a critical step in developing this technology. Conducted under an investigational device exemption from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the study is focused on evaluating the safety and initial functionality of both the N1 implant and the accompanying surgical robot, the R1.

Musk's Neuralink has been at the forefront of neurotechnology since its inception in 2016. The company's mission is to develop a generalized brain interface that could revolutionize how we interact with technology and address unmet medical needs, particularly in individuals with severe neurological conditions like quadriplegia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

PRIME Study: Paving the Way for Innovation

To ensure the safety and success of the PRIME trial, participants were carefully selected based on specific criteria, including their medical history and the presence of a reliable caregiver. Neuralink has emphasized its commitment to advancing neurotechnology while adhering to stringent ethical and safety standards.

The introduction of the N1 implant and the successful human trial represent a significant leap in the journey toward seamlessly integrating human cognition with artificial intelligence. This milestone demonstrates Neuralink's technological prowess and opens the door to new therapeutic possibilities for people with severe mobility impairments.

Musk's Personal Commitment to Neuralink

Musk has indicated his intention to receive a Neuralink implant himself. In 2022, Musk confirmed that he planned to undergo the procedure to have a Neuralink brain implant. Musk's decision to personally experience the Neuralink implant is significant, as it not only underscores his belief in the potential and safety of the technology but also aligns with his history of actively participating in his companies' groundbreaking initiatives.

Neuralink continues to invite individuals to register for their ongoing and future clinical trials, further solidifying its position as a leader in the burgeoning field of neurotechnology.

Musk Teases New Model for Early 2025 That Will Use a Mix of Next-Gen and Current Platforms

By Cláudio Afonso

“We have updated our future vehicle line-up to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of our previously communicated start of production in the second half of 2025”. This was one of the key sentences that were part of Tesla’s deck shared on Tuesday directly before its financial results.

Since Reuters’ report a few weeks ago saying Tesla had “scrapped” the highly expected cheaper model— which Elon quickly denied on X —retail and institutional shareholders started asking for more details on Tesla’s product roadmap for 2024 and beyond.

In the earnings conference call, Elon Musk reiterated that Tesla expects to launch the next model in “early 2025, if not late this year”.

“We've updated our future vehicle lineup to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of previously mentioned start of production in the second half of 2025. So, we expect it to be more like the early 2025, if not late this year. “

Over concerns of temporary production halts to update the factories for these new models, Musk said that Tesla will produce new models with certain aspects from their next-generation platform and current models. This will reduce the number of changes needed on production lines and allow Tesla not only to ramp up production faster but also to get the vehicles to market quicker.

Model Y Redesign

Tesla appears to hit that their next-gen vehicle will be less “next-gen” than they were initially aiming for, but to get a new vehicle out the door by late 2024, the process would already have to be in motion. Tesla may likely be referring to the redesigned Model Y, which is expected to reuse many parts from the new Model 3. Earlier this year, Tesla said that the redesigned Model Y will not be released this year, so it makes sense that they’re looking to speed up that production.

Tesla CEO concluded by saying that these measures will allow Tesla to reach a capacity of over 3 million units. Tesla produced 1.84 million vehicles in 2023. However, this year they’re ramping up Cybertruck production and introduced the new Model 3 into new markets.

And we think this should allow us to get to over 3 million vehicles of capacity when realized to the full extent.

Tesla reported on Tuesday its earnings results followed by a conference call where it teased its upcoming Robotaxi and its next-generation platform saying its “purpose-built Robotaxi product will continue to pursue a revolutionary ‘unboxed’ manufacturing strategy”.

Earlier in the day, Tesla announced the new Performance variant of its sedan Model 3 with deliveries in the United States starting already next month. The new version starts at $45,490 (after applying the $7,500 Federal EV tax credit) and goes from 0 to 60mph in 2.9 seconds.

Tesla on FSD: Close to License Deal With Major Automaker, Announces Miles Driven on FSD v12

By Cláudio Afonso

On Tuesday Tesla reported its earnings results followed by a conference call that brought several updates on the company’s roadmap for future vehicles, autonomous driving, Optimus and much more.

While answering a question from Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney about updates on the licensing of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology, Elon Musk said they’re talking to one major auto manufacturer and there’s “a good chance” the company signs the first deal before year-end. However, he went on to say that it would probably be three years before the necessary changes are integrated into the car.

I think we have a good chance we do sign a deal this year

Brings Benefits to Tesla

The technology would require other automakers to start using the same cameras and hardware as Tesla, meaning that Tesla may not only generate money from licensing FSD but also from selling the hardware itself. However, there would be other benefits as well. When licensing FSD, Tesla would likely own the data gathered with the system well, further helping them with data and edge cases that need to be solved to reach full autonomy.

people don't understand all cars will need to be smart cars… Once that becomes obvious, I think licensing becomes not optional.

Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer Vaibhav Taneja commented pointing out that future partners “take a lot of time in their product life cycle” resulting in a gap between the deal signing and the arrival in the market of Tesla’s FSD software.

Miles Driven With FSD

On the conference call, Musk added that Tesla now has over 300 million miles that have been driven with FSD v12 since it was launched just last month. He added that it's becoming “very clear that the vision-based approach with end-to-end neural networks is the right solution for scalable autonomy”.

Tesla said it will continue to increase its “core AI infrastructure capacity in the coming months” adding that in the first quarter, it completed the transition to hardware 4.0 with China now receiving the upgraded FSD computer and cameras.

Over the weekend, Tesla reduced the price of FSD dropping it from $12,000 to $8,000 for customers in the United States and from CA$16,000 to CA$11,000 in Canada.

Earlier this month, Tesla implemented a 50% price reduction for FSD subscriptions in the U.S. and introduced the subscription model in Canada at a great value of CA$99 per month.

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