Neuralink shows patient playing chess with his mind

Neuralink shows patient playing chess with his mind


21 March 2024

Elon Musk's brain-computer interface company has published a video claiming to demonstrate the first human patient utilizing Neuralink's brain implant to operate a mouse cursor and play chess.

The patient, 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh, stated that he was paralyzed below the shoulders in a diving accident eight years ago. Arbaugh compares the Neuralink implant to the Force from the Star Wars saga, allowing him to move the cursor by just staring at a certain location on the screen.

Elon Musk, who invented Neuralink in 2016, reposted the video of Arbaugh, claiming it exhibited "telepathy."

Arbaugh reported that the Neuralink implant enabled him to play Civilization VI for eight hours without interruption, although he had to wait for the implant to charge. Last year, Neuralink was granted clearance by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to undertake in-human clinical studies. The business then launched a six-year trial and is currently recruiting participants.

The video is the first time Neuralink has released footage of a human utilizing its brain implant, following Musk's announcement in January that the first trial subject was "recovering well" after receiving the technological implant. The announcement comes less than three years after the business released a video of a monkey utilizing technology to control an on-screen cursor in Pong.

Critics have pointed to a lack of transparency in Neuralink's studies, including the number of subjects and results being assessed, according to Wired. The company's prior monkey operations have been controversial, with stories of animals being terminated due to symptoms like brain bleeds, bloody diarrhea, partial paralysis, and cerebral edema.

Although Neuralink is first marketed as an assistive device, Musk has stated that he eventually intends it to be implanted in completely healthy people to improve their talents. But it's still a long way off.

Arbaugh noted that "there's still a lot of work to be done" and that the crew "have run into some issues." However, he also states that the implant "has already changed my life."

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