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Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for E3/Entertainment Software Association

Elon Musk said Tuesday night his company Neuralink "aspirationally" hopes to start trials next year on directly connecting people's brains to computers.

Details: Musk said at the live-streamed San Francisco event that the team had begun testing the brain-reading "threads" on animals. "A monkey has been able to control the computer with his brain," he said. A key goal of the team is to one day effectively treat brain disorders with a chip.

"All animal procedures were performed in accordance with the National Research Council’s Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and were approved by the Neuralink Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee."

The big picture: Neuralink has devised electrodes to be embedded in the brain using tiny insulated "threads" that are much smaller than a human hair to pass through tissue and withstand degradation, per The Verge. For the time being, the company must use surgeons to drill holes through the skull to implant the threads, the New York Times notes.

What's next? Musk said he hoped to find a way for the brain to "merge" with artificial intelligence, most likely through tiny wireless chips implanted in the brain using a "sewing machine-like" robot, with a goal of securing "humanity's future as a civilization relative to AI."

"This is going to sound pretty weird, but ultimately, we will achieve symbiosis with artificial intelligence. This is not a mandatory thing. This is a thing you can choose to have if you want. This is something that I think will be really important on a civilization-level scale."

The bottom line: Although Musk said the team isn't far off from implanting prototypes, it will take a "long time" for Neuralink to achieve its goals, he acknowledged, noting that getting federal approval for the neural implants would be difficult.

Go deeper: Elon Musk: Humans must merge with machines

Go deeper

Arizona Judge: Adding mask mandates ban to budget bill is unconstitutional

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

An Arizona judge ruled Monday that the state's ban on mask mandates in schools, and other measures put into the state budget by Republicans, are unconstitutional, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The sweeping ruling voids a ban on vaccine requirements for public universities, community colleges and local governments, and strikes down some non-COVID-related measures like a ban on teaching critical race theory in classrooms and anti-fraud measures for ballots.

Activision to settle harassment lawsuit, set up $18M victims fund

Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Activision Blizzard announced plans Monday to settle a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hours after it was filed.

Why it matters: This is Activision's most visible acknowledgment of problems at the company, in the wake of a series of workplace misconduct lawsuits, complaints and investigations initiated against the "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft" maker since the summer.

Pfizer testing oral pill for prevention of COVID

Photo: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer announced Monday that it is testing an oral antiviral drug that would help prevent COVID-19.

Why it matters: This drug is one of several antiviral pills that could have a massive impact on coronavirus treatment since not everyone will get a vaccine, and it may take years to fully vaccinate people in certain countries, per Axios' Alison Snyder.