Elon Musk's Neuralink brain chip company hopes to implant humans in 2022

Elon Musk says Neuralink, his neurotechnology company working on brain chips, hopes to implant its first devices in humans next year.

In an interview with Joanna Stern at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit, the Tesla CEO said the first to get the device will be those who have severe spinal cord injuries like quadriplegics, pending approval.

While wanting to avoid raising hopes unreasonably, Musk said he was "increasingly convinced" Neuralink would allow people to walk again naturally.

"I think we have a chance with Neuralink of being able to restore full body functionality to someone who has a spinal cord injury," he said.

"I think we have a chance, I emphasise a chance, of being able to allow someone who cannot walk or use their arms to be able to walk again naturally."

Earlier this year, Neuralink released footage of a monkey playing a video game wirelessly after getting an implant.

It works by decoding the electrical signals from the monkey's brain, recorded from more than 2000 electrodes implanted in its motor cortex.

The macaque monkey, named Pager, was trained to play MindPong using a joystick, with the signals made when doing certain movements mapped so they could be replicated wirelessly.

"Neuralink is working well in monkeys and we're obviously doing a lot of testing and just confirming it's very safe and reliable and the Neuralink device can be removed safely," Musk confirmed to Stern.

"Basically the monkey looks completely normal yet it's playing a video game telepathically which I think is quite profound."