Could a device implanted in the brain of someone who is paralysed help them control a computer? That’s the question posed by Elon Musk-owned Neuralink’s PRIME study (an acronym for Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface). Neuralink secured FDA approval for human trials a few months ago and is now recruiting participants, specifically people aged over 22 who have quadriplegia or ALS – a fatal motor neurone disease – and who also have a “reliable” caregiver. Only a handful of people are likely to be involved in the six-year study due to safety concerns – the company negotiated a lower number of patients with the FDA after initially hoping to be approved for 10. The robot used to surgically implant the device, and the app it pairs with, will also be trialled. BCIs aren’t exclusive to Neuralink; other companies have made significant steps forward in researching their potential use in helping people with diseases like ALS. The repeated courting of controversy over safety and bold promises of commercial rollout, however, appear to be all Musk.