China Enters Brain Chips Race with Neuralink

China has announced its entry into the race to implant brain chips in human brains, marking a direct challenge.

China has announced its entry into the race to implant brain chips in human brains, marking a direct challenge to American entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Neuralink initiative. The country has unveiled a timeline for its “Brain-Computer Interface” project, aiming to roll out products featuring these brain chips by early 2025, as per a press release from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

As per sources cited in The Sun newspaper and the technical platform Gizmodo, the Chinese Ministry disclosed intentions to create a variety of “brain and computer interface” products similar to Neuralink in the near future. The Ministry underscored its ambition to make advancements in essential technologies and fundamental devices like brain-computer fusion, brain-like chips, and brain-computing neural models.

Last year, the Chinese government established a dedicated lab with 60 individuals exclusively focused on brain and computer interfaces, as reported by Gizmodo. Tianjin University, in partnership with a Chinese electronics firm in 2019, introduced the “Brian Tucker” chip capable of decoding neural signals for various applications, including assistive technology and neural prosthetics.

Elon Musk recently announced that Neuralink had successfully transplanted its first brain chip into a human patient, who is reportedly recovering well. Musk shared on the social media platform X that initial results indicated promising neuron spike detection. Neurons, described by the National Institute of Health, are cells that transmit information through electrical and chemical signals in the brain and body.

In a significant development, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) granted Neuralink approval to conduct its inaugural chip transplant test in a human brain last year. According to Neuralink’s website, the chip holds the potential to empower individuals with quadriplegia to control devices through their thoughts.

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