American billionaire Elon Musk has talked about his company "Neuralink" approaching the implantation of the first electronic chip in the brain, in a plan that opens the way for different uses.
Musk, while attending the Vivatech technology conference in Paris, said Neuralink plans to implant the chip into the brain of a parapletic or paralyzed patient later this year.
Musk did not specify how many patients would undergo chip implantation surgery or how long the operation would take.
Musk, who is CEO of electric cars, Twitter and Space X, said that one of the first applications targeted by chip implants is to restore sight and allow movement to the muscles of people who are unable to do so, and said in previous statements, "Even if a person is never sighted, such as being born blind, we think we can still restore his sight."
Neuralink is developing brain chip connections that it says could give patients with mobility and communication disabilities again, and the company has conducted animal experiments in recent years.
The company confirmed last month that it had received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its first human clinical trial, a milestone for the startup at a time when it faces investigations in the United States over the way it conducts animal trials.
Experts told Reuters earlier that if Neuralink can prove its devices are safe for humans, it would take a few years or perhaps more than a decade to get a commercial license.